With Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) at the helm of affairs in Uttar Pradesh for a historic second term, there is widespread speculation over the new faces to be inducted and the old ones who will be retained in Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya tops the list of leaders who may be expelled from office, after he lost his Sirathu seat to SP leader and newcomer Pallavi Patel.
With cabinet formation imminent, here are some of the leaders likely to get ministerial berths:
Keshav Prasad Maurya
If speculations are to be believed, Maurya's fate now hangs in the balance after the loss. Though he was seen celebrating the victory alongside Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath and others, his status as a prominent OBC face of the party remains his only bargain chip for the cabinet berth.
Some sources in the BJP also claim he could be absorbed in the central cabinet and UP might have a fresh set of deputy CMs this time.
IPS Asim Arun
Another probable cabinet face could be former IPS officer Aseem Arun who contested from Kannauj Sadar seat, considered to be a Samajwadi Party backyard and comfortably defeated sitting three-time MLA Arun Doharey.
Party insiders claim this victory is prominent not only because he is a Dalit and the party was able to penetrate an SP citadel, but also the fact that former IPS turned MLA and minister would reinforce party focus on law and order and people with a clean image be given a prominent position in the party.
Swatantra Dev Singh
After having successfully delivered UP in BJP's kitty, Swatantra Dev Singh is now speculated to have made himself eligible for the cabinet berth.
Singh, a kurmi by caste, could also prove instrumental in caste balancing if Keshav Prasad Prasad Maurya fails to make a cut.
Baby Rani Maurya
Former Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya could be one of the key portfolio holders in the next Yogi cabinet.
Being projected as a prominent Dalit woman face in the party, her elevation would not come as a surprise after she returned to active politics from Governorship and was made party vice president.
She successfully contested from Agra Rural seat and holds importance following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment over women voters instrumental in victories on seats that BJP won by a comfortable margin.
Former Congress leader Aditi Singh is another probable candidate who could make a cut in the new state cabinet.
Apart from being a key woman face, her clout in the region dubbed to be a Congress backyard might just be good enough in the eyes of selectors.
This move might be seen as BJP's attempt at confronting a Congress bastion with a woman face after Smriti Irani successfully delivered Amethi for the party in a major drubbing to the Congress in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Another name doing rounds is Pankaj Singh, son of defence minister Rajnath Singh. There has never been a minister in the Yogi cabinet from Noida but Pankaj, by twice winning the seat by a record margin, is now being considered for the cabinet berth.
However, the party would be wary about nepotism allegations from the opposition once he is elevated.
The BJP swept the pivotal UP Assembly election on 10 March, winning 255 of the state's 403 seats, with a vote share of 41.3 percent.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday, 11 March, tendered his resignation to Governor Anandiben Patel at Raj Bhavan in Lucknow, as his first tenure came to an end.