LUCKNOW || The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday saw its first expansion with induction of six cabinet ministers, six ministers with independent charge and 11 ministers of state. The oath to the new entrants in the government was administered by the Uttar Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel at the Raj Bhawan in the state capital.
Among the prominent faces who have got cabinet berths included Suresh Rana (till now minister of state with independent charge of cane), Mahendra Singh, a Yogi confidante and Ram Naresh Agnihotri from Mainpuri, the belt dominated by the Samajwadi Party (SP) for decades.
Rana, the second-term legislator from Thana Bhawan, raised eyebrows as he is one of the accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 that left more than 65 dead and thousands displaced. Ram Naresh Agnihotri seems to have been awarded for his long-standing loyalty with the BJP at a time when the terror of the Yadav family was at its peak in that area of Mainpuri.
Other ministers sworn in as cabinet rank included Anil Rajbhar, Kamla Rani and Bhupendra Singh Chowdhary. The new ministers of state with independent charge include Neelkanth Tiwari, Satish Dwivedi, Kapildev, Ashok Kataria, Shriram Chauhan and Ravindra Jaiswal.