Yogi Adityanath, a five-time parliamentarian was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh today. The swearing-in happens in Lucknow a week after the BJP won a landslide mandate in the assembly elections with 312 seats.
In a surprise announcement, Mr Adityanath's name was announced only last evening. His two deputies in Keshav Prasad Maurya, the party's UP chief, and Dinesh Sharma, Lucknow's Mayor also took oath. Mr Sharma is credited with leading the party's membership drive in the state.
After his name was announced for the top post, Mr Adityanath thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who himself was an important part of the party's campaign in the state.
"I will take UP forward with his motto of sabka saath sabka vikas," Mr Adityanath declared soon after he was announced the Chief Minister.
He has been winning the Gorakhpur seat since 1998 and is the head priest of Gorakhnath Math.
The politician-priest with his shaven head and trademark saffron robe has been the party's Hindutva mascot and consistently commissions headlines, usually because of his controversial statements.
Former Congress Leader, who joined BJP a few months back, takes oath as minister in the Uttar Pradesh assembly. She is a legislator from Lucknow cantonment.
Nand Kumar Nandi takes oath as cabinet minister of Uttar Pradesh government.
Satyadev Pachauri, Ramapati Shastri and Jay Pratap Singh take oath as cabinet ministers of Uttar Pradesh government.
Dara Singh Chauhan, Dharmpal Singh, SP Singh Baghel take oath as cabinet ministers of Uttar Pradesh Govt, administered by Governor Ram Naik.
Rajesh Agarwal takes oath as cabinet ministers of Uttar Pradesh government.
Satish Mahana takes oath as a cabinet minister of Uttar Pradesh government.
It is for the first time in the history of Uttar Pradesh that two Deputy Chief Minister have taken oath.
Dinesh Sharma takes oath as the second Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Keshav Prasad Maurya takes oath as Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Yogi Adityanath takes oath as the new Chief Minister of India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh.
PM Modi arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of Yogi Adityanath and his council of ministers
BJP's national President Amit Shah, partly credited with the victory in this year's assembly election in UP, arrives for the swearing-in ceremony.
Veterans arrive for UP ministers' swearing-in ceremony.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, newly-elected Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister R. Singh, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Uma Bharti and Rajnath Singh also attended the ceremony.
Also in attendance was former chief minister of the state Akhilesh Yadav, along with his father and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav arrives on stage right behind BJP's veteran leader LK Advani at Smriti Upwan, the venue where 43 minister will be sworn in today.
Here are the latest developments in this big story:
- A stage to seat 100 people has been built at Lucknow's 96-acre Smriti Upwan, where the oath ceremony is being held. Almost one lakh people are attending the ceremony.
- Among the cabinet ministers who took oath are Swami Prasad Maurya, Satish Mahana, Rajesh Agarwal, Ashutosh Tandon, Chetan Chauhan, Sidharth Nath Singh and Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Former cricketer Mohsin Raza will be the Muslim face of the cabinet, sources said.
- "Members of all communities welcome @yogi_adityanath's appointment as #UPCM with open arms. Truly shows the vibrancy of our democracy," said union minster and senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu this morning.
- After he is sworn in, Yogi Adityanath will hold a cabinet meeting and will also address the press. Senior party leaders have said the priority for the new government will be placing a ban on slaughterhouses.
- Accused of being a polarising leader by political rivals, Yogi Adityanath sought to make clear on Saturday evening that as chief minister, his focus will be to deliver on PM Modi's development agenda and ensure good governance in Uttar Pradesh.
- "I will take UP forward with the PM's motto of sabka saath sabka vikas," said Mr Adityanath said soon after it was announced that he would be chief minister.
- Senior state BJP leader Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was said to be one of the contenders for the top post, but was chosen as Yogi Adityanath's deputy, said he was not upset about the decision. "UP is a big state, so it must have been a considered decision to appoint two deputy Chief Ministers... the party is like my mother - will do whatever it says."
- Dinesh Sharma, who has been Lucknow Mayor for many years and led the party's membership drive in the state, will be the other deputy Chief Minister. Known to be extremely close to PM Modi and Amit Shah, the 53-year-old professor of Lucknow University took the number of BJP members in the state from about a crore to more than 11 crore.
- None of the three top men in the Uttar Pradesh government - the Chief Minister designate and his two deputies - are legislators from the state. They will have to stand for election within the next six months.
- Yogi Adityanath became India's youngest parliamentarian in 1998 after being elected at the age of 26 from Gorakhpur. His name began to do the rounds as the leading candidates for the chief minister's post on Saturday afternoon.