Yogi Adityanath takes oath as Uttar Pradesh chief minister for second term with 52-member team
Keshav Prasad Maurya, Brajesh Pathak sworn in as deputy CMs. Twenty-one ministers retained, 22 dropped; 31 new faces, five women in Yogi Adityanath government 2.0
Yogi Adityanath took oath as Uttar Pradesh chief minister for the second term in a grand ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top BJP leaders at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana stadium in Lucknow on Friday.
His 52-member team includes two deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak. Sixteen other cabinet ministers, 14 ministers of state (independent charge) and 20 ministers of state were also sworn in by governor Anandiben Patel.
Twenty-one ministers of the previous Yogi Adityanath government have been retained and 22 ministers have been dropped. There are 31 new faces in the Yogi government 2.0 that also features five women.
Pathak, a cabinet minister in the first Yogi government, was elevated. He replaced Dinesh Sharma as deputy CM. Maurya, the other backward classes (OBC) face of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, retained his place.
Adityanath is the 33rd chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. He is the first CM of Uttar Pradesh to win a second successive term after completing a full five-year tenure.
The big names missing from the new government include Mahendra Singh, Jal Shakti minister in the previous regime, Shrikant Sharma, who was the state’s energy minister from Mathura, Ashutosh Tandon, who was urban development minister, Sidharth Nath Singh, who was MSME minister, and health minister Jai Pratap Singh. They could now be accommodated in the organisation. The buzz is that former industries minister Satish Mahana or former excise minister Ram Naresh Agnihotri could be made speaker of the 18th assembly. A final decision hasn’t been made on this yet.
The new government also features state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh, the party’s state general secretary JPS Rathore and state vice president Arvind Kumar Sharma. Another state vice president Daya Shankar Singh has been made minister of state (independent charge). This now means that a rejig of the state BJP organisation is imminent. This development, political experts feel, may have come with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in mind.
The BJP also replaced Mohsin Raza, its lone Muslim face in the first Adityanath government, with Danish Azad Ansari, the state secretary of party’s minority cell.
Azad has been named minister of state. He, along with Baldev Aulakh, a Sikh minister of state and a second-time lawmaker from Bisalpur assembly segment of Rampur, would now be the minority faces of the new government.
Those present on the occasion included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, top BJP leaders, chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, seers, actors, beneficiaries of various government schemes, party cadres and others.
“It’s a government that shows hard work has been rewarded,” said UP BJP spokesman Harish Srivastava.
“You would have seen how Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath got up to accept greetings each time a new minister approached them after taking oath. This showcases how our leadership remains humble and sensitive. This is one approach that the government and the party have imbibed over the years,” he added.
The Yogi government 2.0 could have a maximum of 60 ministers. Suresh Khanna, the senior most member of the BJP legislature party, is a cabinet minister again. He had won his ninth assembly election from Shahjahanpur. He had also proposed Adityanath’s name as chief minister at the legislature party meeting on Thursday.
Former Uttarakhand governor Baby Rani Maurya, a Jatav dalit, has been made a cabinet minister. She had quit her gubernatorial assignment two years ahead of the end of her term. She won her first assembly polls from Agra Rural constituency this time.
The BJP’s allies have been represented too. Apna Dal (Sonelal) leader Ashish Patel, an MLC and husband of Union minister of state Anupriya Patel, has been made a cabinet minister. Nishad party chief Sanjay Nishad, an MLC, has also been inducted into the cabinet.
Apart from Arvind Kumar Sharma, a former Gujarat cadre IAS officer, the other former bureaucrat featuring in the new government is Asim Arun, a dalit MLA and former head of anti-terrorist squad who quit the IPS to contest the 2022 UP assembly elections. Arun Kumar Saxena, a doctor from Bareilly and Ajeet Pal Singh with a degree in engineering and management, are also part of the government.
Huge cut-outs of Modi and Yogi adorned the stadium, which burst into applause when Adityanath was invited to take oath as the chief minister. Adityanath took his oath in Hindi as chants of Modi-Yogi rent the stadium.