Yogi Adityanath took oath today as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister for the second time, after smashing a 37-year-record. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Ministers and allies like Nitish Kumar gathered in a mega show of strength at a packed stadium in Lucknow.
Besides Yogi Adityanath, 52 ministers were sworn in, hand-picked by the BJP leadership with an eye on the 2024 national election.
Keshav Prasad Maurya, who lost the UP election, is back as Deputy Chief Minister. But Dinesh Sharma has been replaced by Brahmin leader Brajesh Pathak.
Later in the evening, Adityanath held an almost two-hour meeting of the new cabinet.
The BJP retained power in Uttar Pradesh by winning 255 out of 403 constituencies, securing a 41.29 per cent vote share.
Yogi Adityanath, who led his party to a massive victory, is the first Chief Minister in 37 years to return to power after completing a full term in the state.
Among his new ministers are Suresh Khanna, Surya Pratap Sahi, Swatandra Dev Singh, Baby Rani Maurya and former bureaucrat AK Sharma.
Jitin Prasada, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP last year, is back as minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet.
Danish Azad Ansari, a Minister of State, is the only Muslim minister in the new government.
Former police officer Aseem Arun, Daya Shankar Singh, Nitin Agarwal and Kalyan Singh's grandson Sandip Singh have been made ministers of state (independent charge).
Tens of thousands of people filled the Atal Bihari Vajpayee stadium in Lucknow, many holding up BJP flags and shouting slogans as giant screens flashed the oath-taking. Posters announcing 'Naye Bharat ka Naya UP '(New UP of New India)' were seen all over the stadium.
Film personalities like Akshay Kumar, Kangana Ranaut and Boney Kapoor were also invited to the mega swearing-in ceremony. The team of the recently released controversial Hindi movie "The Kashmir Files" was also invited.
Yogi Adityanath had also invited former Chief Ministers Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati to the oath ceremony. He also dialled Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.