LUCKNOW: BJP’s hardline Hindutva poster boy and five-time MP, Yogi Adityanath was on Sunday sworn in as the 21st chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, heading a 47-member council of ministers that includes two deputy CMs.
A surprise inclusion was cricketer-turned-politician Mohsin Raza, who was sworn in as a minister of state, becoming the lone Muslim face in the state government. BJP had not fielded any Muslim candidate in the Assembly polls. Interestingly, the chief minister, his two deputies — BJP state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and party’s national vice president Dinesh Sharma — and Raza are not members of either House of the UP legislature. Besides the two deputy CMs, his council of ministers has 22 other cabinet ministers, nine ministers of state with independent charge and 13 ministers of state.
The 44-year-old Adityanath is the fourth chief minister from the saffron party, ending its 15-year hiatus in the Hindi heart-land state. The oath of office and secrecy was administered by Governor Ram Naik at Kashiram Smriti Upvan at a grand 90-minute ceremony attended by a galaxy of BJP luminaries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and L K Advani.
Expressing “immense confidence” that this new team will leave no stone unturned in making UP ‘Uttam Pradesh’, Modi tweeted, “There will be record development. Our sole mission & motive is development. When UP develops, India develops. We want to serve UP’s youth & create opportunities for them…” Outgoing chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav also attended the function.
The swearing-in ceremony was the culmination of a seven-phased Assembly election spread over two months in the most populous state, which gave BJP a landslide victory in the 403-member Assembly. BJP and its allies have won 325 seats. Adityanath, who lacks administrative experience, was unanimously elected yesterday as the BJP legislature party leader at a meeting of the newly elected MLAs, a move that took many by surprise. Soon after he was sworn in, Adityanath assumed charge in the newly constructed Lok Bhawan.