Firebrand leader sworn in as Uttar Pradesh’s its 21st chief minister, heads a 47-member ministry
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath yesterday pledged to work for all sections without bias and said he believed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’.
Addressing his first press conference after taking oath, the Gorakhpur MP also vowed to end the law and order problems in the country’s most populous state.
In an apparent move to allay fears that he, as a long-time Hindutva icon, might discriminate against the minorities, Adityanath promised there would be no bias for or against anyone.
Agriculture, he said, would be made the base for all development work in Uttar Pradesh.
“Our government is fully committed to fulfilling the promises made (before the assembly elections).”
“We want to assure the people of UP that our government will take the state on the path of development and prosperity and would do everything that it takes to do so,” the 44-year-old said.
Earlier, the firebrand leader was sworn in as Uttar Pradesh’s its 21st chief minister, heading a 47-member ministry that included known Hindutva faces and political turncoats.
The oath taking at Smriti Upvan, which marked the return of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in the sprawling state, was watched by Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, party chief ministers besides thousands of cheering supporters.
Governor Ram Naik administered the oath of office and secrecy to Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma as well as 44 ministers.
Maurya is the state BJP chief and a Lok Sabha member from Phoolpur while Sharma is the Lucknow mayor.
There are 22 members of the cabinet, nine ministers of state with independent charge and 13 ministers of state.
Om Prakash Rajbhar, leader of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, a BJP ally, was also sworn in as a cabinet minister.
The sole Muslim in the ministry is former cricketer Mohsin Raza, who is not a member of the assembly as the BJP did not field any Muslim in the election. Raza is a minister with independent charge.
Baldev Olakh, who won from Bilaspur, is the Sikh face of the ministry.
Dressed in his characteristic saffron robes, Adityanath, after taking oath, walked over to and sought the blessings of BJP veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as well as Rajnath Singh, the federal home minister and a Lucknow MP.
As celebrations erupted in Adityanath’s native village Panchur in Uttarakhand and Gorakhpur town, Modi congratulated the new chief minister and his team and hoped they will transform Uttar Pradesh into “Uttam Pradesh”.
Prominent among the cabinet ministers are veteran BJP legislators Surya Pratap Shahi, Suresh Khanna, a seven-time legislator from Shahjahanpur, Ramapati Shastri, Rajesh Agarwal, a six-term MLA from Bareilly Cantonment, Satish Mahana and Satyadeo Pachauri.
Three Lucknow legislators – Brajesh Pathak, Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Ashutosh Tandon – also made it to the cabinet. The fourth Lucknow MLA, Swati Singh, became a minister of state with independent charge.
Political turncoats who contested on BJP ticket and got a place in the ministry included Swamy Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan and Brajesh Pathak (all ex-BJP) and Rita Bahuguna Joshi, a former Congress leader who defeated Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav.
Four women – Gulabo Devi, Archana Pandey, Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Swati Singh – are in the government. The BJP gave ticket to 43 women of whom 32 won.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik Yogi Adityanath greet a gathering before Adityanath takes an oath as the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh yesterday.