Teaching her predecessor and political foe Mulayam Singh Yadav a lesson was evidently on the mind of the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, who listed her priorities at her first press conference after being sworn in on Sunday afternoon.
The 51-year-old Bahujan Samaj Party president -- who created history by becoming India's most populous state's chief minister for the fourth time -- sought to make it loud and clear, "I wish to restore the rule of law and end the
prevailing jungle raj unleashed by the previous Samajwadi Party regime in the state."
Issuing a warning to anti-social elements, which thrived under the previous regime, Mayawati declared, "All criminals will be sent behind bars, which is where they deserve to be."
Earlier, she was sworn in along with 48 members of her new council of ministers at a crowded ceremony on the Raj Bhawan lawns.
She made no bones about her intention to order separate probes into all 'shady deals' of the previous government.
"Whatever the SP government did against the larger public interest anywhere in the state would be inquired into and anyone found guilty of committing irregularities would not be spared at any cost," she said.
Since many schemes undertaken by the orevious regime were widely perceived to serve the vested interests of a handful of SP bigwigs, the decision was bound to ring alarm bells for Mulayam's inner coterie.
Disbanding of the SP government's much hyped and Amar Singh-headed UP Development Council was also among her key announcements on the opening day - "We will chalk out our own plans for undertaking industrial development in the state, but this so-called Development Council ceases to exist from today."
Vowing to root out corruption at various levels in the government, the country's first dalit woman to head any state government -- that too entirely on the strength of her own party -- made it loud and clear that she would also ensure justice to 'all those who did not get a fair deal under the Mulayam regime'.
She said, "I understand that a number of undesirable persons were provided official security and this would be withdrawn with immediate effect."
Clearly disapproving of the unemployment dole initiated by her predecessor for unemployed graduates, Mayawati promised to ensure jobs to them - "We will create employment instead of giving away such doles."
While asserting that her government would not allow any kind of communal tension to prevail in the state, she promised every possible security to the minorities as well as other downtrodden and underprivileged classes of society. "The life and property of people belonging to all religions will be protected and nobody will be allowed to indulge in violence in the name of religion," she asserted.
In her undoing Mulayam spree, Mayawati further decided to scrap all major decisions taken by her bete noire after the announcement of state assembly elections by the Election commission in the month of February. "We will review and inquire in to each of these decisions," she added.
In yet another warning to the bureaucracy, she said, "Officials found guilty of inefficiency or dishonesty will not be just transferred or shifted, but they will be severely punished."
She regarded problems relating to electricity , water, education and health as among those that deserved 'immediate attention'.
While admitting that development was among the most important needs of the state, she said, "Before I can chalk out any such plans, I have to see the state of our treasury; I must find out whether Mulayam Singh Yadav has left any funds or not; otherwise we will have to devise new means to raise resources so that such tasks can be undertaken up in due course."