Akhilesh takes over, shunts out Mayawati loyalists (Evening Lead)March 15th, 2012 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, March 15 (IANS) Within an hour of taking over as the new Uttar Pradesh chief minister, promising “change in two days”, Akhilesh Yadav Thursday overhauled the state bureaucracy by showing the door to officials of the earlier Mayawati government and bringing in old Samajwadi Party (SP) loyalists.
Akhilesh Yadav at 38 has become the youngest and the 33rd chief minister of India’s most populous and politically crucial state.
“Change will be seen by all in two days,” the new chief minister told IANS on the sidelines of his first press interaction after assuming the post.
And the change was brought sooner than he promised. He reshuffled all officials on the ‘pancham tal’, the fifth floor of the chief minister’s office, the seat of power in Uttar Pradesh.
All officials of the previous regime were put into waiting list. A host of new faces, including many loyalists to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, were brought in.
Among the new entrants were Alok Kumar, Anita Singh and Pandhari Yadav, who have been made secretaries to the new chief minister.
In his interaction with the media at his official 5, Kalidas Marg residence, Akhilesh Yadav pledged that his government would make its promise to farmers and the unemployed youth its first and foremost priority.
He was to preside his first cabinet meeting Thursday evening to take “major decisions”.
He assumed the charge nine days after his Samajwadi Party (SP) won a thumping majority in Uttar Pradesh.
At the swearing in ceremony, there was deafening applause by the many thousands of SP supporters and workers gathered at the sprawling La Martiniere College grounds.
Akhilesh Yadav took the oath of office in Hindi and swore in the name of god to abide by his duties.
He waved at the surging crowds, almost breaking barricades to catch a glimpse of him, and smiled at known faces, thanking them with folded hands as he walked across the specially erected dais to be sworn in by Governor B.L. Joshi.
The son of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav was credited with steering the party to victory in Uttar Pradesh. It won 224 of the 403 seats in the assembly, leaving previously ruling Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party with only 80 seats.
Coming to the venue ahead of son Akhilesh, Mulayam Singh took care that guests from other states and national leaders were well taken care of. Prominent amongst them were former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was sworn in for the fifth time Wednesday and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa’s emissary M. Thambidurai.
The swearing-in ceremony saw a large presence of industrialists, religious seers and film stars. Bollywood was represented by Jaya Bachchan and Zayed Khan while the industry was represented by Sahara Chief Subrata Roy Sahara and Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani.
Nineteen cabinet and 28 state ministers also took oath and include veteran Azam Khan, uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, retired IPS officer Ahmad Hasan as well as Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiya, an independent legislator who has been arrested for his alleged involvement in criminal cases and is currently out on bail.
Akhilesh Yadav is currently a Lok Sabha MP and would need to get elected to the Uttar Pradesh legislature within six months.
The new chief minister said his actions would start speaking very soon.
Replying to a question on how would the state government generate funds for the largesse the SP has announced in form of free power supply, free laptops and tablets, he said if funds were available in the past for stones and statues, why could they not be generated for developmental projects.
–Indo-Asia News Service
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