Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today took oath as member of the state Legislative Council, meeting the mandatory six-month deadline to get elected to either house of the state after assuming office. Two deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma were also administered oath by Chairman of the Legislative Council Ramesh Yadav at a function at the Tilak Hall of the imposing Legislative Building here. Two other ministers Swantradev Singh and Mohsin Raza also took oath. Raza, a minister of state, is the lone Muslim face of the 48-member council of ministers headed by the 45-year-old saffron-robed chief minister. All of them were recently declared elected unopposed to the state Legislative Council in by-elections to five seats that fell vacant when the sitting members resigned recently. Adityanath has now becomes the third successive chief minister after Akhilesh Yadav (SP) and Mayawati (BSP), to opt for the Upper House.
With all the five seats going to the BJP, the party’s tally has risen to 13 in the 100-member Upper House, where the Opposition still enjoys majority. The Samajwadi Party (SP) has 61 members in the Legislative Council, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) nine, the Congress two and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) one. While 12 seats are held by ‘others’, two are vacant. The chief minister and his ministerial colleagues had to get themselves elected to either House of the state within six months of assuming office on March 19.
The seats fell vacant when Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant, Sarojini Agarwal and Ashok Bajpai – all members of the Samajwadi Party – and BSP MLC Thakur Jaiveer Singh resigned and joined BJP subsequently. Other UP chief ministers who had opted for the Legislative Council route are Narain Dutt Tiwari and late Ram Prakash Gupta (BJP). Former chief minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh had become a member of UP Legislative Council in November 1980 after assuming the chief minister’s office in June 1980. He later contested a by-election from Tindwari Assembly constituency, and became a member of UP Legislative Assembly in 1981.