LUCKNOW || Amid wide speculation and a strong buzz that heir apparent of the union defence minister Rajnath Singh, Pankaj Singh will make the cut in the UP cabinet, things have now taken a different turn. While a cabinet overhaul has taken place, he has missed the bus.
Pankaj is not just the son of Rajnath but he is also MLA from Noida. Sources who have been quoted suggest that at a time when well to do ministers and their wards have made the cut, the absence of Pankaj from the cabinet raises several questions.
In the first expansion of the Yogi cabinet not only have 18 new faces got a place, but there are also five faces who have got a promotion. Kalyan Singh’s grandson Sandeep Singh has been given a ministerial berth in UP.
Son of Lalji Tandon, Ashutosh Tandon is a minister in the yogi cabinet. Daughter of Premlata Katiyar and Kanpur MLA Neelima Katiyar has been given a place in the cabinet.
Much like this sudden change of heart, even in 2017 when the Yogi regime came to power with a massive mandate, 11 hours before the final announcements of the Yogi cabinet, the name of Pankaj Singh was then dropped from the list.
As per the party version, Pankaj Singh remains a party general secretary but despite his experience by now, he has not made the cut. When BJP trounced the the then SP government, Pankaj managed to beat his opponent Sunil Chaudhary of SP with more than a lakh votes.
In a cabinet rejig after almost two and a half years, Gautam Budh Nagar has not fared well. Not just Pankaj but three other faces from this area have not got any place of prominence in the government. Historically from 2012 to now, Gautam Budh Nagar has never figured in the UP cabinet so to speak. The last of the representatives in the UP government was that of the Mayawati regime namely Vedram Bhaati.
In a cabinet that this time saw a diverse combine of castes across the board, Muzaffarnagar, Agra, Kanpur was among some of the prominent places that got their fair share of local representatives making it to the list.
Not just Noida, but even those from Baghpat, Meerut among others failed to open their account. This even though the likes of Bulandshahr joined the cabinet list for the very first time.
As a new refreshed cabinet takes over UP, eyes are now on what the outcomes are in terms of performance.