Press Trust of india

BJP top brass gives final touches to UP govt formation exercise

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New Delhi:  The BJP top brass on Thursday gave final touches to the government formation exercise in Uttar Pradesh as the party takes into account a variety of factors, ranging from caste, age, regional balance and education among others, to decide on the members of the new Cabinet.

With Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath set to be elected as the BJP legislative party leader in a meeting in Lucknow, a party source said his Cabinet may again have two deputy chief ministers.

The new government is likely to be sworn in on Friday, the source said.

Outgoing deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma besides Baby Rani Maurya are seen among the top contenders for Adityanath’s deputies.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the party’s observer for the legislative party meeting, BJP president J P Nadda and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was his party’s in-charge for the state polls, met on Thursday for deliberations.

While the BJP and its allies have won over two-thirds majority in the 403-member assembly, the ruling party is likely to keep its further political expansion and future challenges in mind during the formation of the new government.

Baby Rani Maurya, a member of the influential Jatav community from the Scheduled Castes, is widely tipped to be given an important place in the new government. She had resigned as Uttarakhand governor to fight the assembly polls.

Brijesh Pathak, a minister in the outgoing government, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantar Dev Singh and A K Sharma, a former bureaucrat considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are also being talked about as probables for key positions, including deputy chief ministers if the party seeks to bring in new faces.

Adityanath had on Wednesday met Nadda to discuss the formation of government in the state.

The oath-taking ceremony of the new government will be held on Friday in a mega event at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ikana stadium in Lucknow.

It is expected to be attended by Modi along with several Union cabinet ministers and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states.

The BJP with its allies won 273 seats out of 403, becoming the first party in over three decades to form a government for a second consecutive time in the state.

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