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Akhilesh expands ministry Friday, Raja Bhaiya may be back

The oath-taking ceremony of the new ministers will be held at Raj Bhawan at 10.15 a.m., the official said.

Raja Bhaiyya, an Independent legislator from Kunda in Pratapgarh district, resigned as food and civil supplies minister seven months ago after his name surfaced in an FIR on the murder of police officer Zia-ul-Haq.

Haq, a deputy superintendent of police posted as Kunda circle officer, was killed by a mob, which his widow Parveen Azad alleged, acted at Raja Bhaiyya's behest.

The killing evoked a national outage and embarrassed the state government.

However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a month back gave Raja Bhaiyya a clean chit in the case. His name had also floated ahead of an earlier ministry expansion July 18, but the chief minister then cold-shouldered the demand of Raja Bhaiyya's supporters.

It is likely one or two state ministers could be elevated to cabinet rank while a leader from the violence-hit western Uttar Pradesh could also find a place in the ministry.

Meanwhile, as speculation spread of Raja Bhaiyya's re-entry into the cabinet, his supporters plastered the city with hoardings that read: "Satya sataya ja sakta hai, parajit nahin kiya jaa sakta (truth can be harassed, not defeated)".

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