The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday elevated his uncle and Public Works Department (PWD) and Irrigation Minister, Shivpal Singh Yadav’s position in the Council of Ministers when he handed him four additional portfolios, including that of Revenue, considered an important department. These portfolios were held by Ambika Chaudhary, whose position clearly has been downsized. He has now been allocated the Backward Classes Welfare and Handicapped Welfare portfolios. These departments were with the Chief Minister and are considered to be insignificant.

In a notification issued on Sunday, portfolios were also allotted to the newly-inducted Ministers, Narad Rai, Kailash Yadav, Ram Murti Verma and Gayatri Prasad Prajapati.

Even as Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav’s position has been enhanced, the minor reshuffle has proved to be a major setback for Mr. Chaudhary, who was also the Revenue Minister in the Samajwadi Party Government headed by Mulayam Singh. In the Akhilesh Yadav Government, Mr. Chaudhary held four portfolios of Revenue, Scarcity, Rehabilitation and Public Service Management. He has been divested of these portfolios, which have now been vested in Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav.

In fact, the change in departments by the Chief Minister was affected only in Mr. Chaudhary’s case. The departments of other Cabinet Ministers, including that of Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister, Mohammad Azam Khan, were left untouched. Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav will now hold 11 portfolios. He is already has PWD, Irrigation, Flood Control, Cooperative, Irrigation ( mechanical), Land Development and Water Management and Sodic Land Development Minister.

Though he has been saddled with four additional portfolios, Mr. Yadav is still the number three in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet. Mr. Khan is the number two with eight portfolios under his belt.

While Mr. Narad Rai, who like Mr. Chaudhary is also from Ballia, has been made the Minister for Sports and Youth Welfare ( these departments were also with the Chief Minister ), Kailash Yadav has been allotted Khadi and Gramudyog, which were earlier with Raja Ram Pandey before he was sacked by the Chief Minister a couple of months back.

Ram Murti Verma will the Milk Development Minister and Gayatri Prasad Prajapati will be the Minister of State ( independent charge ) for Mining.