Ushering in single-party rule after 14 years, BSP chief Mayawati [ Images ] assumed reins of power on Sunday in Uttar Pradesh [ Images ], heading a 50-member jumbo ministry inducting several persons from the upper castes, reflecting the rainbow coalition she stitched to get an absolute majority in the elections.
The 51-year-old leader, who became the chief minister for a fourth time, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor T V Rajeshwar at a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan.
Along with her, 19 cabinet ministers, 21 Ministers of State with independent charge and nine Ministers of State were also administered the oath of office and secrecy.
The cabinet ministers are Naseemuddin Siddique, Sudhir Goel, Ramvir Upadhayaya, Lalji Verma, Indrajit Saroj, Sukhdev Raj, Thakur Jaiveer Singh, Swami Prasad Maurya, Meghram Bhatti, Lakshmi Narain, Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, B S Kushwaha, Jai Narain Rai, Babu Chouhan, Nakul Dubey, Daddu Prasad, Narain Singh, Ram Prasad Choudhary and Dharam Singh Saini.
The ceremony was attended by her arch rival and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav [ Images ], outgoing Assembly's Speaker Mata Prasad, UP Congress chief Salman Khursheed [ Images ], his wife Louis, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and her parents, Prabhu Dayal and Ram Lata.
After the function, the new chief minister introduced her parents to the Governor.
BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, who helped Mayawati in roping in Brahmin support for her, was the only political leader sitting on the dias along with her during the ceremony.
The Ministers of State (Independent Charge) in UP are: Ram Achal Rajbhar, Anees Ahmed Khan, Ayodhya Prasad Pal, Yamuna Nishad, Omwati, Anand Sen Yadav, Badshah Singh, Ranganath Mishra, Vinod Kumar, Fateh Bahadur, Lakhiram Nagar, Avdesh Verma, Raghunath Prasad, Ram Heth, Rampal Verma, Anant Kumar Singh, Avadh Pal Singh, Yashwant, Ratan Lal Ahirwal and Daddan Prasad.
The nine Ministers of State are: Sangram Singh, Abdul Manan, Yogesh Raj Singh, Vidya Choudhury, Rajesh Tiwari, Jai Singh, Daddan Mishra, Hari Om and Yashpal Singh.
Among the ministers, Siddiqui is BSP national secretary and Lalji Verma is state party chief.
Senior leader Swami Prasad Maurya, former BSP legislature party leader, who lost from Dalmau seat, was also made a minister.
Mayawati, who became the first Dalit chief minister in India [ Images ] in 1993, is the 40th chief minister of the largest state of the country and shares the record of becoming the chief minister for four times in the state with Congress leader N D Tiwari.
Mayawati, who is a sitting member of Rajya Sabha, will have to be elected to the state assembly or legislative council within six months from the date of her swearing in.
On Saturday, the Governor invited Mayawati to form the government after BSP legislators elected her as their leader in the 403-member Assembly.
Her party won 206 seats out of 402 constituencies which went to poll in elections, spread over one month.
Image: Mayawati being administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor T V Rajeshwar
Photograph: AFP/ Getty Images