Modi gives 8 berths to UP eyeing state polls

Modi gives 8 berths to UP eyeing state polls

By inducting as many as eight members in his Cabinet from Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not only sought to take into account the caste and regional equations but also signaled that he had his sight firmly focused on the 2017 Assembly polls in the state.

Though UP got eight ministerial berths, excluding the prime minister, there were a few disappointments here among the supporters of some senior BJP leaders, who were expecting to be made ministers.

Modi had taken care of the caste and regional equations in the formation of his cabinet. Almost every region of the state — Bundelkhand, Poorvanchal, Avadh and the western region — has found representation in the ministry.

While Manoj Sinha and Kalraj Mishra hail from the eastern region, Uma Bharti represents the backward Bundelkhand region. The central region of Rohilkhand will have two representatives in the form of Santosh Gangwar and Maneka Gandhi.

Modi did not hesitate to include Sanjiv Baliyan, an MP from Muzaffarnagar and a riot accused, in an apparent bid to boost the party’s prospects in the western region, which till the other day, was a strong hold of the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

By making Rajnath Singh the home minister, the prime minister has acknowledged the political importance of the state.

The caste equations have also been taken care of. Kalraj Mishra is a Brahmin while Manoj Sinha represents the Bhumihar community. Rajnath hails from Thakur community while Uma Bharti is a Lodh (backward community). Sanjiv Baliyan is from the Jat community which had shifted allegiance to BJP.

State BJP leaders have admitted that they are looking forward to the 2017 Assembly polls. “We would want to sweep the Assembly polls like we have done in the recent Lok Sabha elections,” said BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak.

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