Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati re-inducted her close confidant and state Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Swami Prasad Maurya into her government on Sunday.
Governor B.L. Joshi administered the oath of office and secrecy to Maurya, the only BSP leader to be sworn in as a cabinet minister at a function at the Raj Bhawan. The names of several other BSP leaders were also doing the rounds till the cabinet expansion took place in the evening.
The return of Maurya into the council of ministers was a foregone conclusion after he won the Padrauna assembly seat in the recently concluded by-election by 53,024 votes.
Mayawati had promised to make him minister if he emerged victorious.
Maurya was inducted as a minister when Mayawati stormed to power in the May 2007 assembly elections. But he had to quit the government as his term as a member of the Legislative Council had ended.
Instead of renewing it, Mayawati fielded him as a candidate for the Padrauna Lok Sabha seat in the general elections held in April-May 2009. He lost to Congress candidate RPN Singh, union minister for surface transport.
Singh had vacated the Padrauna assembly seat that he won in 2007, necessitating the by-election.
Mayawati fielded Maurya from this seat. He defeated Shakir Ali of the Samajwadi Party. Singh's mother, Rani Mohini Devi of the Congress, got the third position.