Firebrand Hindutva leader Yogi Adityanath on Sunday emphasised that in his new role as Uttar Pradesh chief minister, his top priority will be all-pervasive growth and development of the state, indicating that he was ready to toe the moderate line in sync with his party's central leadership.
The first signals to his firm-hand administration came when in his introductory meeting with the state cabinet, the Yogi asked all his ministers to provide details of their income, moveable and immoveable assets within 15 days. A similar move was initiated by PM Narendra Modi at the Centre in 2014.
"Our cabinet reflects our motto 'sabka saath, sabka vikas' and we want to assure all the people of the state that they will soon witness positive results of the huge majority they have given to us," said Adityanath, soon after he was sworn in as the CM at a grand ceremony attended by PM Modi, union ministers, BJP chief ministers and Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav.
Wearing his trademark saffron robes, the new chief minister said: "Poor and derogating law and order, corruption and the caste and family-based politics have been constant hurdles in the development of the state for the past 15 years. Swift and effective action will be taken without any delay and discrimination."
Adityanath will head a 47-member council of ministers that includes two deputy CMs. The balancing act of the party can also be seen in its choice of two deputy CMs - one of them is a backward caste leader, while the other is a Brahmin. The CM himself is a Rajput.
As many as seven defectors (five from BSP and one each from the Congress and SP) also found place in the Yogi's cabinet. There are at least 17 ministers from eastern UP, where the BJP has made new inroads this time; 12 are from western part of the state and 11 from the central region.
There are three Dalits and 26 ministers hailing from upper castes. The rest belong to OBCs like Kurmi and Rajbhar.
Senior state BJP leaders are of the view that the party, which always had loyal support from the upper castes, needs to focus on the new vote bank also in the state in the run up to 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
LONE MUSLIM MINISTER
A surprise inclusion in the ministry was cricketer-turned-politician Mohsin Raza, who was sworn in as the lone Muslim face in the state government. The party had not fielded any Muslim candidate in the Assembly polls.
Hitting out at the opposition parties in his trademark style, the newlyappointed CM in his first brief interaction with the media said his government will gradually mend all the discrepancies. The governance and the administration will be more sensitive, he added.
"Our primary focus will be on law and order, education, employment, health, transportation, besides women empowerment and safety. The youth are paying for the mistakes of the previous governments and we'll ensure transparent and corruption free equal government job opportunities," he said.
Reacting to the agenda, PM Modi wrote on Twitter: "There will be record development. Our sole mission & motive is development. When UP develops, India develops."
(With agency inputs)