Other States

In U.P., ‘upper castes’ led by Brahmins, Thakurs still occupy largest chunk of Ministries

Overall, out of the 60 Ministers in Yogi Adityanath-led UP government, 27 belong to the traditional ‘upper castes’, while the OBC have 23 representatives, including a Sikh Jat, and Dalits have nine. One is a Shia Muslim.   | Photo Credit: Nand Kumar

On Sunday, on being inducted as a Minister, Jitin Prasada became the sixth Brahmin in the Cabinet of the Yogi Adityanath-led government of Uttar Pradesh and the 11th name from the influential community to feature in the Council of Ministers.

With the induction of seven new faces, including six from the OBC and Dalit communities, the number of Ministers went up to 60. However, the ‘upper castes’ continue to dominate in terms of representation, forming the largest block, especially in terms of Cabinet berths and important Ministries.

With 11 names, Brahmins are the largest beneficiary, followed by Thakurs (7). Overall, out of the 60, 27 belong to the traditional ‘upper castes’, while the OBC have 23 representatives, including a Sikh Jat, and Dalits have nine. One is a Shia Muslim.

24 Cabinet Ministers

The State now has 24 Cabinet Ministers. Of these, 16 belong to the ‘upper castes’, with Brahmins and Thakurs (Kshatriya) having five names each, as per official information.

Mr. Adityanath, who is also a priest, was born a Kshatriya and his deputy, Dinesh Sharma, is a Brahmin. The Cabinet also has three Khatris—Ashutosh Tandon, Suresh Khanna and Satish Mahana—and one each from the Bania (Nand Gopal Gupta), Bhumihar (Surya Pratap Shahi) and Kayasth (Sidharth Nath Singh) castes.

Keshav Prasad Maurya, also a Deputy Chief Minister, is among the seven OBCs in the Cabinet. He is joined by his caste fellow Swami Prasad Maurya, Rajbhar MLA Anil Rajbhar, Dara Singh Chauhan, Jats Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary and Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary and Mukut Bihari Verma, a Kurmi. The only Dalit in the Cabinet belongs to the Kori sub-caste, Ramapati Shastri.

Apart from Mr. Prasada, the six new faces comprise Kurmi, Bind and Kumhar OBC castes, and Khatik Scheduled Caste (two) and one from the Gond Scheduled Tribe community.

Prior to the Cabinet expansion, the State had nine Ministers of State (independent charge), which had five ‘upper castes’--three Brahmins, one Kshatriya and one Bania-- three OBC and one Dalit. Out of the 21 Ministers of State, the State had six ‘upper castes’—three Brahmins, two Bania and one Kshatriya-- 10 OBC, four Dalits and one Muslim. Reflecting the BJP’s emphasis on mobilizing the non-Yadav and non-Jatav communities against the SP and the BSP, out of the 60 Ministers, only one each belong to these castes even though they are roughly 10% and 12-13% of the population respectively.

Tweeting after the latest cabinet expansion, Mr. Adityanath said it reflected the philosophy of Jan Sangh leader Deen Dayal Upadhayay. “Today’s expansion is filled with the intent of providing representation to all sections, feeling of social balance, message of harmony and providing opportunity to the person standing on the last rung,” he stated.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 4:07:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/in-up-upper-castes-led-by-brahmins-thakurs-still-occupy-largest-chunk-of-ministries/article36697696.ece

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