Akhilesh Yadav,38,became the youngest Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh as he took oath on Thursday. However,contrary to what he said yesterday,his Cabinet was neither small,nor did it have many new faces.
And despite the SPs assertion of a clean team,Raghuraj Pratap Singh,alias Raja Bhaiyya,Independent MLA from Kunda and a known history-sheeter,was also inducted in the Cabinet.
Besides the CM,19 Cabinet ministers and 28 ministers of state were administered oath of office by Governor B L Joshi. These include Azam Khan,who took oath immediately after the CM,Mulayam Singh Yadavs younger brother Shivpal Yadav,the partys chief whip in the dissolved Assembly Ambika Choudhary,Om Prakash Singh,Balram Yadav and Ahmed Hassan.
Among the few new faces,the most prominent was Abhishek Mishra,a former professor of IIM-Ahmedabad,who was projected as the changing face of the SP during the election campaign. He has been made an MoS. The size of Akhileshs team clearly indicated that SPs old guards had prevailed in ministry formation. Till late last night,the names were kept secret. The invitation cards to those selected were delivered in the middle of the night.
The final shape to the cabinet was given by the SPs national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav. After Mulayam gave his approval,the list was sent to Raj Bhavan late in the evening,said SP sources,adding Ram Gopal handled the demands of the two main camps headed by Azam Khan and Shivpal. The Cabinet has six Yadavs,five Thakurs,three Muslims,three Brahmins and two Dalits.
In terms of regional representation,some districts have got two or even three ministers,while Allahabad and Aligarh and a few others could not get any. As many as three ministers are from Azamgarh.
Among those who attended the ceremony were Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal,INLD president Om Prakash Chautala,CPM general secretary Prakash Karat,CPI leader A B Bardhan,Anil Ambani,Subrata Roy Sahara and Jaya Bachchan.