Two new faces were added to the Council of Ministers in Uttar Pradesh following a short Cabinet expansion on Thursday. Ballia Sadar MLA Narad Rai and MLA from Jangipur in Ghazipur district Kailash Yadav were sworn in as Cabinet Ministers by Governor B.L. Joshi.

Also sworn in as Cabinet Minister was the Minister of State for Dairy Development and Ambedkar Nagar MLA, Ram Murti Verma, who was elevated to the Cabinet rank by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Minister of State for Mining and MLA from Amethi Gayatri Prasad Prajapati was sworn in as Minister of State (with independent charge).

With Thursday’s Cabinet expansion--the third since the formation of the Samajwadi Party Government in March 2012– the strength of the Ministry has gone up to 58–-21 Ministers of Cabinet rank, 31 Ministers of State and six Ministers of State (with independent charge). Two more Ministers can still be included in the Ministry as the maximum strength of the Council of Ministers can be 60 considering that the strength of the Assembly is 403.

Through the short Cabinet expansion the Chief Minister had tried to restore the caste and regional balance--- three of the four Ministers are from Purvanchal (eastern U.P.)-- and also reward party loyalists.