Five ministers of the UP Cabinet, including Finance minister Rajesh Agarwal, resigned on Tuesday on eve of the first cabinet expansion in the state.
Also putting in their papers on Tuesday were cabinet minister for cooperative societies Mukut Bihari Verma, sports minister Chetan Chauhan, minister of state (independent charge) for basic education charge Anuradha Jaisawal and minister of state for agriculture marketing Swati Singh.
Mukut Bihari Verma had unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha elections from Ambedkarnagar.
All five ministers have submitted their resignation to the chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
The outgoing finance minister resigned citing health reasons while the other four ministers have quit as they anticipated their dismissal from the council of ministers.
“Following the policy of my organisation, I have tendered my resignation from the state cabinet as I am 75 years of age. Now it is up to the party to accept it. I’ll carry out whatever responsibility will be given to me,” Rajesh Agarwal later said.
Speculations are rife that one more deputy chief minister from the Dalit community is likely to be inducted, thus taking the number of deputy CMs to three.
The maximum strength of the council of ministers can be 61, including the Chief Minister, since the Uttar Pradesh Assembly has 403 seats.
“The oath-taking ceremony will be held on Wednesday at the Raj Bhavan at 11 am,” an official said.
However, the official declined to state the number of ministers who may take oath on Wednesday.
The much-awaited cabinet reshuffle of the Yogi Adityanath government is to fill slots that have fallen vacant, especially after some ministers were elected to the Lok Sabha.
Yogi Adityanath took over the reins of the state in March 2017, and this will be the first expansion of his ministry.
Three UP ministers were elected to the Lok Sabha in the recent polls, while disgruntled minister and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader O P Rajbhar was sacked by the chief minister for his repeated outbursts against the party.
The reshuffle was initially scheduled for Monday (August 19) but was postponed due to the deteriorating health of former Union minister Arun Jaitely in Delhi.
Earlier on Sunday, the authorities had suddenly stopped the distribution of invitation cards after officials confirmed the postponement of the swearing-in ceremony.
Preparations had begun for the swearing-in ceremony, while legislators, who were slated to be sworn in, were asked to reach Lucknow.
The Yogi government has a total of 43 ministers, including the Chief Minister. There are 18 Cabinet ministers, nine Ministers of State with Independent charge and 13 Ministers of State, including two Deputy Chief Ministers — Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma.