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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will expand his ministry on June 27, in perhaps the last reshuffle of his Council of Ministers ahead of the Assembly elections in 2017.
Governor Ram Naik will administer the oaths of office and secrecy to the new ministers on June 27, a Raj Bhavan release said.
This will be the seventh expansion of the Akhilesh Yadav ministry after the Samajwadi Party stormed to power in 2012.
In the last expansion on October 31, 2015, Mr. Yadav inducted five Cabinet Ministers, eight Ministers of State with independent charge and eight Ministers of State.
Speculation of a Cabinet expansion has been rife in the recent past and each time the Chief Minister met the Governor, it would give grist to the rumour mill.
After the surprise dismissal of senior Minister Balram Yadav from the ministry on Tuesday, following the merger of Mukhtar Ansari’s Quami Ekta Dal with the Samajwadi Party, there are four vacancies in the ministry now.
The maximum permissible strength of the ministry, including the Chief Minister, is 60 in U.P.