The swearing-in ceremony of the Uttar Pradesh ministerial council on Thursday at La Martiniere College Grounds was marred by chaos dressed up as celebration.
Samajwadi Party activists stand on stage and celebrate after their leader Akhilesh Yadav was sworn-in as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state in Lucknow. AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh
The seat arrangements went into disarray as SP workers occupied most of the chairs before the function started. Several senior officials of the state including chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha failed to find a seat. Sinha finally shared a chair with a journalist in the media gallery.
Such was the euphoria that supporters of the Samajwadi Party got on to the podium where the ministers were sworn in and started pulling down all the floral decorations and throwing them about.
Half an hour before the ceremony started, CM Akhilesh Yadav climbed on the stage, asking the shouting workers to maintain silence. That did not improve things much.
Minutes after Uttar Pradesh governor BL Joshi and Akhilesh Yadav left the venue, young Samajwadi Party workers dressed in white forced their way to the main stage, creating difficulties for the security persons, some of whom lost their badges in the hustle-bustle.
Cabinet minister Azam Khan had to save the situation by rebuking the workers.
All this took place before director-general of police Atul, inspector-general Jawed Akhtar and Lucknow deputy inspector DK Thakur, who watched helplessly as the guests and VIPs made a hasty exit.
Women security guards on duty had to shield former Lucknow district magistrate Aradhna Shukla until things calmed down. The youth brigade was indifferent to the repeated requests on the loudspeaker on maintaining decorum.