Meet the lone Muslim face in the UP’s Adityanath govt

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Yogi Adityanath on Friday took oath as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister for a second term at a ceremony where 52 others were sworn in as ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi watched the proceedings that showcased the BJP’s triumph in the crucial state.

Danish Azad Ansari has been made a minister of state. He is the lone Muslim face in the Adityanath government.

Hailing from Balia, Azad has replaced Mohsin Raza as the representative of the minority community in Adityanath 2.0 government. He is not a member of the state assembly or the legislative council at present.

Danish Ansari, 32, joined ABVP when he was a student at Lucknow University from where he did his graduation. Ansari has completed his schooling from Ballia’s Holy Cross School.

Danish Ansari is the general secretary of BJP’s minority cell in Uttar Pradesh.

Apart from the chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 18 cabinet ministers — including the two deputy CMs — 14 ministers of state (independent charge) and 20 other ministers of state were administered the oath by Governor Anandiben Patel.

Nine cabinet-rank ministers in the previous ministry were dropped, including Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma.

Out of nine ministers of state with an independent charge in 2017, only two have been retained. But this time there are 14 ministers in this category.

Twenty-one of the 52 ministers – excluding the CM – are from the upper castes, seven of them Brahmins.

Twenty are from the Other Backward Classes (OBC), nine are Dalits and one each from the Muslim and the Sikh communities, as the BJP tries to achieve a caste balance that will help it in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.The BJP retained power in Uttar Pradesh by winning 255 out of 403 constituencies, securing a 41.29 per cent vote share.

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