Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday expanded his cabinet for the seventh time, inducting three new faces and reinstating sacked minister Balram Yadav. Cabinet minister Manoj Kumar Pandey was shown the door.
The expansion comes ahead of the Assembly elections in the state next year.
The new ministers were administered oath by Governor Ram Naik at a function organised at Raj Bhawan. However, absence of senior cabinet minister Shivpal Singh Yadav was conspicuous.
Balram Yadav, who was dropped last Tuesday apparently for facilitating merger of Quami Ekta Dal of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari with the ruling Samajwadi Party, has been re-inducted as cabinet minister. Even Narad Rai, who was also removed from the post, was administered oath as the cabinet minister.
Ziyaudin Rizvi, who was not present in the city, could not be administered oath. Ravidas Mehrotra and Sharda Pratap Shukla were administered oath as Ministers of State (Independent Charge).
Portfolios to the newly inducted ministers would be allocated later.