Despite Diwali having passed, the anticipation for Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) president Om Prakash Rajbhar is still high as he awaits the promised radiance in his residence.
Rajbhar had previously announced the eagerly awaited cabinet expansion, asserting his imminent inclusion in the Yogi ministry. He had expressed his intention to celebrate Diwali with enthusiasm following this development. Additionally, Rajbhar insisted that Dara Singh Chauhan, who faced defeat in the recent by-election in Ghosi, would also secure a ministerial position.
Government sources have indicated that the expansion might be delayed until next month due to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's busy schedule for the upcoming three weeks. Despite the wait, expectations remain high for the political developments in the region.
"We have no idea about the cabinet reshuffle right now. The chief minister will be travelling to poll-bound states for campaigning and his schedule in November is packed," said a senior official in the chief minister's secretariat.
According to BJP sources, a major hurdle in cabinet expansion is Rajbhar's insistence on inducting Dara Singh Chauhan.
"The party leadership is unwilling to include Chauhan in the ministry because he has just lost an election and his induction would send out wrong messages. However, Rajbhar is determined on his stand and this is delaying the expansion," said a BJP functionary.
In BJP circles, Dara Singh Chauhan is now viewed as an "unreliable" leader, given his history of party-hopping. Previously a cabinet minister during the first term of the Yogi government, he departed from the BJP around the same time as another minister, Swami Prasad Maurya, who joined the Samajwadi Party.
Chauhan successfully contested Assembly elections from the Mau seat on an SP ticket but parted ways with the party after a few months, subsequently rejoining the BJP. However, he faced defeat in the bypolls that ensued, losing to SP's Sudhakar Singh from Mau.
There are speculations within the party that some ministers, possibly considering contesting the Lok Sabha polls, might resign from their positions to prepare for the upcoming general elections. The shifting political dynamics and potential changes in leadership underscore the fluid nature of political alignments in the region.
"This will create more vacancies in the council of ministers and some more MLAs, including Rampur MLA Akash Saxena, who demolished the bastion of SP leader Azam Khan, could be made ministers," said the functionary.
Considering the potential impact of various factors, including the political landscape and the results of elections in five states, the cabinet expansion in Uttar Pradesh may be postponed until after the announcement of the election results on December 3.
(With Agency Inputs)