Yogi Adityanath, the 44-year-old head priest of Gorakhnath temple and five-term Gorakhpur MP, was sworn in as the 32nd chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday with two deputy chief ministers and 44 ministers. (HIGHLIGHTS)
The Yogi government inducted a Muslim minister as well as a Sikh face along with 26 upper caste ministers, 15 OBCs and five Dalits at a star-studded ceremony in Lucknow’s Smriti Upvan grounds. Five of the ministers are women.
Cricketer turned BJP politician Mohsin Raza is the lone Muslim face in the ministry. The BJP had not fielded a single Muslim candidate in the UP elections, which it won with a brute majority. Baldev Aulakh, a Sikh, who won the election from Bilaspur in Rampur, was also sworn in.
Chants of ‘Modi Modi’, ‘Yogi Yogi’ and ‘Jai Sri Ram’ rang out when governor Ram Naik administered the oath of office to Yogi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Union home minister Rajnath Singh were present at the swearing in of the first majority government of the party in UP after 1991.
Modi made his views known on Twitter, stating, “I have immense confidence that this new team will leave no stone unturned in making UP Uttam Pradesh. There will be record development.”
BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, chief ministers of party-ruled states, leaders of allies, including Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel, were at the event. Union minister Manoj Sinha, who was considered a frontrunner for the CM’s post, did not attend the swearing in.
In his first reaction after becoming CM, Yogi said, “Hum yuvaon ke sapnon ko saakar karenge (we will fulfil the dreams of the youth).”
UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, an OBC and birthday boy, and Lucknow mayor Dinesh Sharma, a Brahmin, were sworn in as the two deputy CMs. The government has 22 cabinet ministers, 9 ministers of state (independent charge) and 13 ministers of state.
The Yogi government gave representation to its two pre-poll allies: the Kurmi-dominated Apna Dal and the Rajbhar-packed Soheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP). Nine lawmakers won on Apna Dal ticket, while four won on SBSP ticket. “I am happy that BJP allies have got their due in UP government. It’s a great mandate and together we would try to do justice to it,” said Union minister Anupriya Patel, the leader of Apna Dal (S).
Swatantradev Singh, MoS (independent charge), said, “In our first cabinet meeting, we will take a decision on loan waiver to small and marginal farmers.”