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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.
Soon after assuming office, 44-year-old Adityanath got cracking and directed all his ministers to give details of their income, movable and immovable assets within 15 days to send a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated.
Adityanath, who has been attacked for his inflammatory remarks against Muslims in the past, asserted that his government “will work for all sections of the society without any discrimination. We will ensure balanced development of UP”.
In his first media interaction after taking over, he asked his ministerial colleagues to refrain from making unnecessary statements that could hurt someone’s sentiments.
Earlier, he said that his government will follow ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ agenda and claimed that the previous governments were corruption-ridden because of which the state had suffered.
“In past 15 years, UP lagged behind in the race of development as previous governments indulged in corruption, nepotism and failed on the law and order front due to which people were affected,” he said.
Interestingly, the chief minister, his two deputies — BJP state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya (47) and party’s national vice president Dinesh Sharma (53) — and Raza (49) 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.
Adityanath is the fourth chief minister from the saffron party, ending its 15-year hiatus in the Hindi heartland 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…”
However, BSP supremo Mayawati chose to boycott the event alleging that by making “RSS man” Adityanath the chief minister, the saffron party wanted to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls not on its development plank, but by “polarising voters”.
“I got the invitation but boycotted the oath-taking ceremony as the BJP has betrayed the backward castes and Brahmins by making him (Adityanath) the chief minister following the RSS agenda,” she said.
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.