[Mohsin Raza (L) with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a file photo.]
Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath, Hindutva Mascot and known extremist, Sunday took oath as 32nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in a glittering ceremony attended by senior BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and former state CM Akhilesh Yadav and SP Supremo Mulayam SIngh Yadav.
Along with Adityanath, a 43-member jumbo cabinet also took oath, among them is Mohsin Raza, a former circketer, who had joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) saying it is the only party which cares about the common people of the country.
Mohsin Raza has been a very vocal critic of Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. Raza has accused Mulayam Singh Yadav of using Muslims for his own political benefits.
Forty-year-old Mohsin Raza studied at the Government Jubilee College then went to Lucknow University for higher studies.
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which sweeped the Uttar Pradesh election winning 312 of the total 403 seats had not fielded any Muslim. Talks were therfore on wheater the state government will have a Muslim face or not.
Uttar Pradesh has about 20% Muslim population and has a special Minority Welfare Ministry, which also looks after Haj affairs.
Though the portfolios of the ministers have not been yet announced, it is most likely that Mohsin Raza will be made Minister of State with Independent Charge of Minority Welfare Ministry. Since, Mohsin Raza is not an MLA, he will be most likely elected as MLC.
The hint that a Muslim will be elected as MLC and inducted as minister in the BJP government was first given by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
Keshav Maurya and Dinesh Sharma have taken oath as Deputy Chief Ministers.
Among the Cabinet Ministers who took oath are Swami Prasad Maurya, Satish Mahana, Rajesh Agarwal, Ashutosh Tandon, Chetan Chauhan, Sidharth Nath Singh and former Congress Uttar Pradesh Chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi.
Besides Prime Minister Modi, the ceremony at Lucknow's sprawling Smriti Upvan complex was attended by BJP President Amit Shah, many union ministers and BJP chief ministers from other states as well as party veterans like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
Congratulating Yogi Adityanath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had shared stage with him, tweeted, "I have immense confidence that this new team will leave no stone unturned in making UP Uttam Pradesh. There will be record development."
Yogi Adityanath is expected to hold a cabinet meeting after the oath ceremony, and also address the press. Senior party leaders have said the priority for the new government will be placing a ban on all slaughter houses running in the state.