Five-time Parliamentarian, the BJP's Yogi Adityanath, this afternoon took oath as Uttar Pradesh's chief minister along with 49 ministers, in a ceremony graced by many BJP luminaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior opposition politicians and a raft of sadhus, sanyasis and sanyasinis.
The two deputy minister-designates Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma were among those sworn in by UP governor Ram Naik. Of the 40-plus ministers, 22 were of cabinet rank. Also among the ministers were six women and cricketer-turned-BJP politician Mohsin Raza, the sole Muslim. The swearing-in ceremony took place at Lucknow's Smriti Upwan Park.
Others who attended the swearing in included the BJP's Amit Shah, LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Murli Manohar Joshi and Nitin Gadkari. The various sadhus, sanyasis and sanyasinis attending the swearing-in ceremony arrived at Lucknow airport this morning in a double- decker Boeing 747.
Outgoing chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav also attended Adityanath's coronation.
The seven-phased Assembly poll spread over two months in the huge state had resulted in no less than a landslide victory for the BJP, which won 312 of the 403 Assembly seats. The BJP didn't name a chief ministerial candidate all through the campaigning, or even until 24 hours ago.
Yesterday evening, after a suspense-filled week, the BJP's senior leadership named Yogi Adityanath, five-time Gorakhpur MP, for the chief minister's post, and also named not one, but two deputy chief ministers.
Adityanath 'openly asked for 2 deputy CMs,' said Union minister Venkaiah Naidu. These deputy CMs "would help him (Adityanath) as Uttar Pradesh is a big state", said Naidu about Maurya and Sharma.
"The trio will be a good combination. Yogi is an honest man, nobody can raise a finger on his commitment," Naidu said.