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Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

Last updated on: March 15, 2012 20:10 IST

Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

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Minutes after Akhilesh Yadav was sworn in as the 33rd chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow on Thursday, Samajwadi Party workers went berserk with excitement.
 
Unmindful of the wrong signals they were sending for the youngest chief minister of the country's most populous state, who is trying to recast his party's age-old reputation of being dominated by unruly elements, SP enthusiasts crossed all barriers and swarmed across the sprawling La Martiniere College grounds, where the swearing-in ceremony was being held, instead of Raj Bhavan .
 
As soon as Akhilesh left the venue after being administered the oath of office by Governor B L Joshi, party activists climbed atop the huge dais, unmindful of the fact that they were physically preventing the exit of 47 newly sworn-in ministers (19 with Cabinet ranks and 28 as ministers of state), who were required to follow the chief minister to the Governor House for a tea-party hosted there.

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Reportage: Sharat Pradhan



Photographs: Pawan Kumar

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Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

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Azam Khan, the senior-most member of the new council of ministers, looked visibly angry and even went to the extent of pushing away some of the party men until some security personnel moved in to make an attempt to regulate the unruly crowd.

Even for Akhilesh's father and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, it was a tough task to reach his car and move out of the venue.
 
Other VIPs, specially invited to attend the occasion, also had a tough time wading through the mob that went completely out of control. The chaos that became visible at the very outset of the event continued for nearly an hour after the show.

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Photographs: Pawan Kumar

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Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

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Excitement grew with every passing minute and soon, exuberant party men stood atop the table on the dais that had been used by the new chief minister and his colleagues for signing their respective oaths. Within the next few seconds, the table came crashing down to add to the confusion and chaos.
 
The scene at the chief minister's official residence, where Akhilesh was scheduled to address a press conference, was no better.

While some party men tried to gatecrash under the garb of being media personnel, the absence of any regulation by the concerned officials compelled journalists to literally battle their way in with the policemen to gain entry to the press conference.
 
It was thanks to the sudden appearance of a senior official, who had held a key position under the earlier regime led by Mayawati, that some order was restored and the media could be ushered in.

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Photographs: Pawan Kumar
Tags: Mayawati , Akhilesh , SP

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Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

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Earlier, with the father and son duo having decided to throw open the swearing-in ceremony to all and sundry, people had begun to pour in at the venue since early morning.

By the time the ceremony started, all roads leading to the venue were clogged and most people had to undertake long walks to get through the traffic jam.

Policemen were seen making a desperate bid to clear the road for the arrival of the governor and the new chief minister, besides the special invitees.

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Photographs: Pawan Kumar
Tags: , SP

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Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

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Prominent among those who flew in from different parts of the state to attend the ceremony were Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, former UP governor and All India Congress Committee treasurer Moti Lal Vora, Communist Party of India - Marxist chief bigwigs Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechuri , industrialist Anil Ambani and Bollywood star turned SP Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Jaya Bachchan .and actor Zayed Khan.
 
No one could tell why Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart L K Advani chose to cancel his plans to attend the swearing-in.

Interestingly, former chief minister Mayawati also sent two of her senior party leaders to represent the Bahujan Samaj Party -- former ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and  Swami Prasad Maurya , who is also the party's state president.

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Photographs: Pawan Kumar

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Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

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Law and order and weeding out corruption will be among the top priorities of the government which will implement the promises made in the election manifesto of his party, said the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. 

Addressing his first press conference after assuming the coveted office as the state's youngest chief minister, he said, ""Law and order is our priority and from today it's our responsibility. Till now we have been levelling allegations on others."

"We will take utmost care to keep corrupt officials out of our scheme of things, as we have a definite agenda to implement in accordance with our election manifesto," he added. 

While he continued to lay all emphasis on ensuring implementation of the manifesto in true letter and spirit, he remained somewhat non-committal on the question of setting up a commission to investigate rampant corruption in his predecessor Mayawati's regime.

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Photographs: Pawan Kumar

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Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

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When a scribe reminded him of the repeated assertions made both by him and his father about investigations into large-scale corruption allegedly perpetuated by Mayawati, Yadav Jr remarked, "Well we all know that corruption touched new heights during the Mayawati regime and we will take necessary steps to stop that with immediate effect."

He said, "We will also follow up on the action initiated by the state Lokayukta against certain people in the previous government," but parried specific queries in that regard.

When a scribe sought to know how his government proposed to raise resources to purchase laptops promised in the manifesto for young students, Akhilesh claimed, "Well if we can stop the large-scale pilferage of money and kickbacks pocketed away during the previous regime during the implementation of various programs and projects, we can raise sufficient resources to meet the financial requirement towards our election promises."

He said, "We are also happy to find that a lot of the youth was converging at the employment exchanges across the state to get themselves registered in order to entitle themselves for the unemployment allowance promised by us", while adding, "we will surely fulfill that promise too."
 

Asked to spell out his government's message to the state, the new chief minister said, "I have convened the first meeting of the cabinet this evening and we hope to take certain key decisions which will having major bearing on the future of the state."

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Image: CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and Mulayam Singh Yadav at the swearing-in cremony
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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Akhilesh takes oath, SP members go berserk

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He came out strongly in defence of the induction of tainted independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh -- better known as Raja Bhaiya -- in his Cabinet.

"You should look into the dates of the cases registered against him; you will find that bulk of the cases were politically motivated to harass him," Akhilesh pointed out.

He however skirted questions relating to ministerial berths being given to a few other persons with criminal antecedents.

Expressing his gratitude to the people of the state for giving his party the mandate to form new government, Akhilesh said, "I am extremely grateful to the people of the state for giving us this huge mandate and I wish to assure them that we will do our every bit to fulfill their expectations."

On a query on the rumours about the SP joining the government at the Centre, he said, it would be decided by Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav).

"We have formed the government in UP...first let things settle," he added.

The new CM also said that the system of Janata Darbar would be restarted soon.

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Image: Thousands of SP supporters thronged the La Martinere College ground where Akhilesh took the oath
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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