UP cabinet expanded, 20 ministers take oath

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Lucknow, Oct 31 (ANI): After cleaning up his Cabinet, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expanded it with introduction of 12 new ministers on Saturday. Samajwadi Party government’s fifth and biggest cabinet expansion was made after intense parleys that went on till late on Friday evening over the probables. In all 20 ministers took oath, including those who have been promoted, at the Raj Bhawan in Lucknow. The oath was administered by UP Governor Ram Naik. Those inducted as cabinet ministers include Arvind Singh Gope, Kamal Akhtar, Vinod Singh alias Pandit Singh, former Shiv Sena leader Balwant Singh Ramuwalia and Saheb Singh Saini. Those sworn-in as ministers of state (independent charge) include Riyaz Ahmad, Farid Mehfooj Kidwai, Mool Chand Chauhan, Naresh Agarwal’s son Nitin Agarwal, Yasser Shah, Madan Chauhan and Sadab Fatima. The state government had earlier sacked eight ministers- five cabinet ministers and three ministers of state (MoS)- and stripped nine others of their portfolios. The move is being seen as a major effort to refurbish the government’s image before the state goes to polls in 2017.

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