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Azam Khan sworn in again as UP minister

March 18, 2012 14:59 IST

In what is being described as unprecedented, five ministers of the newly established Akhilesh Yadav -- Uttar Pradesh government were sworn in for the second time because of certain 'errors' that occurred during the swearing-in ceremony on March 15, when a 48-member ministry was installed in Lucknow.

State Governor B L Joshi on Sunday re-administered the oath of office and secrecy to one cabinet minister and four ministers of state with independent charge at a simple ceremony at Lucknow Raj Bhawan.

These included the senior most cabinet minister Azam Khan, who 'forgot' to swear the 'oath of office' even after being prompted by the chief minister and the Governor. Instead, he repeated the same 'oath of secrecy'.

The four ministers of state who were re-sworn in as minister of state (with independent charge) were Arvind Singh Gope, Rajesh Singh Rana, Bhagwat Singh Rana and Aruna Kumari Kori . Earlier on March 15, they were sworn-in as ministers of state, together with 28 other ministers of state.

Sunday's ceremony was seen as a corrective step for the mistakes committed during the course of the original swearing in of March 15.

Questions were also being raised over the constitutional validity of the first cabinet meeting that followed the first swearing in ceremony.

What had became debatable was whether the presence of Azam Khan at the cabinet meeting constitutional, since he had not taken oath of office as minister.  Literally cornered over questions relating to his participation in the meeting without having sworn oath as a minister, Khan shrugged, "I will say I was not present in the meeting", before slipping of Raj Bhawan.

Several constitutional experts were of the view that the new cabinet should be meeting again to reiterate the decisions taken at the first meeting.

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow