UP hits and misses: 6 of dynasts in new Yogi team, others fail to make it

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has targeted “parivarvaad” (dynasty politics) in recent weeks, there are at least six ministers in the new Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government, who belong to established political families. These include two cabinet ministers, Surya Pratap Shahi and Jitin Prasada, two ministers of state (MoS) with independent charge, Nitin Agrawal and Sandeep Singh, and two MoS, Mayankeshwar Singh and Suresh Rahi.

The ruling BJP, however, also dropped several such dynasts from its ministry this time, who had been ministers in the previous Adityanath government. They include Ashutosh Tandon (son of former MP governor Lalji Tandon), Sidharth Nath Singh (grandson of Lal Bahadur Shashtri), Atul Garg (son of ex-Ghaziabad mayor Dinesh Garg), and Neelima Katiyar (daughter of ex-minister Premlata Katiyar).

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Several BJP MLAs from political families, who could not make it to the 52-member Adityanath government 2.0, include Pankaj Singh (son of defence minister Rajnath Singh), Vimlesh Paswan (brother of party MP Kamlesh Paswan), Fateh Bahadur Singh (son of ex-CM Vir Bahadur Singh), Rani Pakshalika Singh (wife of former minister Mahendra Aridaman Singh), Aditi Singh (daughter of ex-MLA Akhilesh Singh), Prateek Bhushan Singh (son of party MP Brajbhushan Sharan Singh), Anurag Singh (son of ex-state president Om Prakash Singh), Shashank Verma (son of former senior leader Ram Kumar Verma), Saurav Srivastav (son of ex-minister Harishchandra Srivastav), Harshvardhan Bajpai (son of former MLA Ashok Bajpai), Sunil Dwivedi (son of ex-senior leader Brahmdutt Dwivedi), Neeraj Vora (son of ex-Lucknow mayor DP Vora), and Archna Pandey (daughter of ex-senior leader Ram Prakash Tripathi).

Here is a look at six dynasts who are part of Adityanath’s new ministerial team:

Surya Pratap Shahi, cabinet minister

An MLA from Pathardeva in Deoria district, Surya Pratap Shahi has been associated with the BJP for a long time. He was the home minister in the Kalyan Singh-led BJP government in 1991 and was the former UP BJP president. In the previous Adityanath government he was the agriculture minister. His uncle Ravindra Kishor Shahi was the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS)’s UP unit chief and a minister in the 1977 Janata Party-led UP government headed by Ram Naresh Yadav. Ravindra Kishor was among the BJS’s prominent leaders from eastern UP. After his demise in 1982, Surya Pratap Shahi took over his political legacy.

Jitin Prasada, cabinet minister

Jitin Prasada, who belongs to a family deeply rooted in the Congress, quit the grand old party and switched to the BJP in June last year. His father Jitendra Prasada was a prominent Congress leader, four-time Lok Sabha MP, and political advisor to two Prime Ministers, Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao. Jitin was among the members of top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s core team until his defection to the BJP months ahead of the UP Assembly polls. The saffron party made him an MLC and has now inducted him into the Adityanath government.

Nitin Agrawal, MoS with independent charge

Nitin Agrawal is son of senior leader Naresh Agrawal, a known turncoat, who was originally with the Congress before forming his breakaway outfit Loktantrik Congress to be part of the Kalyan Singh-led coalition government in 1997. Naresh was also with the BSP and SP before he joined the BJP in March 2018 after being denied the Rajya Sabha ticket by the SP. Nitin won the 2017 Assembly election from his home turf Hardoi on the SP ticket, but was later elected deputy speaker with the BJP’s help. In the 2022 election, he was fielded by the BJP as its candidate from the same seat, which he again won.

Sandeep Singh, MoS with independent charge

Sandeep Singh is the grandson of the BJP / BJS stalwart, late Kalyan Singh, who was the two-time UP CM and former state unit president. Sandeep, whose father Rajveer is currently a BJP MP, won from his home turf Atrauli on the saffron party ticket. His mother Premlata is also a former party MLA. Sandeep was an MoS in the previous Adityanath government too.

Mayankeshwar Singh, MoS

Mayankeshwar Singh belongs to an erstwhile royal family of Tiloi in Rae Bareilly. His father Mohan Singh was a BJS MLA from Tiloi in 1969, who later joined the Congress and went on to win the same seat on its ticket in 1974 and 1977. Mayankeshwar, who was with the SP earlier, later joined the BJP and won from Tiloi on its ticket in both the 2017 and 2022 polls.

Suresh Rahi, MoS

Suresh Rahi’s father Ramlal Rahi had been associated with several parties including the Congress, Janata Party and BJP. A two-time MLA from Hargaon, Ramlal was also elected to the Lok Sabha from Misrikh constituency. He was the MoS, home, in the Narasimha Rao government. Ramlal had also quit the Congress but returned to the party in 2017 following its leader Priyanka Gandhi’s intervention. Suresh joined the BJP and won Hargaon seat on its ticket in the 2017 and 2022 elections. Earlier, his brother Ramesh Rahi was an SP MLA from the same seat.

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