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ĎTaintedí Raja Bhaiya in Team Akhilesh
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, March 15
The much-awaited generational change finally took place in Uttar Pradesh today with 38-year-old Akhilesh Yadav being sworn in as its youngest chief minister along with 19 Cabinet and 28 ministers of state, including one woman.

However, Yadav has given credence to experience over youth while choosing his 19-member Cabinet which has more than a dozen of his father Mulayam Singh Yadavís ministerial colleagues. Even among the 28 ministers of state, many of them have been ministers in the erstwhile SP ministries.

The new ministry reflects the new social engineering of the SP regime. It includes 10 Muslims, four Brahmins, six Dalits, 16 OBC, nine Rajputs and two Vaishyas.

Despite his opposition to criminals many such tainted ministers found berth in his ministry. These include Raja of Kunda Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya.

Similarly, claims to keep the rowdy elements at bay proved wrong. The swearing-in ceremony was marked by unruly SP supporters who virtually took over the venue, including the dais. As soon as Governor B L Joshi departed after the brief ceremony, SP supporters climbed the podium waving victory marks at the clicking cameras.

Flower pots were crushed; the tastefully done flower decoration was trampled upon, mikes uprooted, and table broken. Even the VVIP guests, including the women members of the Yadav clan, barely escaped from the stampede-like situation.

Later, a beaming Akhilesh arrived at the CMís official 5 Kalidas Marg residence along with SPís chief spokesperson Rajendra Chadhury. Setting a new precedence Akhilesh asked Chadhury to share the dais.

Akhilesh reiterated his assurance that action would be taken against the officials involved in corruption during the previous regime.

Surprise Inclusion

n Raja Bhaiya contested elections from Kunda seat of Pratapgarh district

n The 1969-born politician is an accused in at least eight criminal cases

n The charges against him include attempt to murder, murder, dacoity, abduction, corruption, etc

n A politician with criminal antecedents, Raja Bhaiya has been associated with Samajwadi Party for long

n He was sent to jail in 2002 under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), along with his father Udai Pratap Singh

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