Dinesh Sharma's work during 2014 elections earns him UP deputy CM's post

Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma; 22 Cabinet Ministers, nine Ministers of State with independent charge, and 13 Ministers of State were also administered oath of the office.

Addressing a public rally of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) here, he said that in the wake of the results of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, many people expressed the opinion that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are undefeatable. The oath-taking ceremony was held in the presence of PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.

Other cabinet ministers include Dara Singh Chauhan, Dharmpal Singh, S P Singh Baghel Surya Pratap Shahi, Suresh Khanna, Satish Mahana, Rajesh Agarwal and Rita Bahuguna Joshi.

It was an important day for the BJP.

"I have huge confidence that this new team (led by Adityanath) will leave no stone unturned in making UP Uttam Pradesh (foremost state)".

After the ceremony, Modi said in a tweet: "Our sole mission and motive is development".

Yogi Adityanath's appointment as the CM of the largest state of India has garnered mixed reactions from different quarters.

"Our government is committed to realise Deen Dayal Upadhyaya's dream of antodaya", he said.

"Our Government will work for the welfare of the people".

Nearly half of the cabinet are represented by upper castes, indicating that aggressive Hindutva would prevail over the development agenda projected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the polls. "I am confident that the state will march on the path of development", he had said in his first brief media interaction at the Raj Bhawan. The empowerment of women and their security would also be on top of his government's agenda, he said.

Of the two deputies of Adityanath, Dinesh Sharma is a Brahmin and Keshav Maurya an OBC.

The party has given ministerial berths to representatives of sections and regions of the state which voted for it and allies who helped get votes.

A five-time MP from the BJP, Adityanath is a popular leader known for his fiery Hindu rhetoric who has stirred controversies over his polarising and inflammatory speeches against Muslims - who form almost 20 percent of the state's population. The Prime Minister had already left for Dehradun to witness the swearing of Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. Yogi has been popular for his inflammatory speeches and direct attack on his political and religious rivals and now BJP has elevated him to post of UP chief minister to pursue their agenda and policies.

While on the one hand, BJP seems to have made a reasonable choice with the reappointment of Manohar Parrikar as the Goa CM, the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as the CM (possibly to ensure the fulfilment of the Ramrajya dream) of Uttar Pradesh sets the party at least 20 steps back into the dark ages.

  • Carolyn Briggs