is set to get its youngest chief minister in 38-year-old Akhilesh Yadav
, with the Samajwadi Party (SP) legislature party on Saturday unanimously electing
him as their leader.
Akhilesh, the parliamentarian son of SP chief and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, is to be sworn in on March 15.
The decision to give him the top post was finalised at an hour-long meeting of the newly elected SP legislators Lucknow on Saturday.
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Akhilesh's name was proposed by senior leader Mohd Azam Khan. Akhilesh's uncle Shivpal Yadav seconded the proposal, after which the former bowed to his father and touched his feet.
The spadework for Akhilesh's coronation was scripted at a late night parley on Friday between Mulayam Singh, Azam Khan and Shivpal Yadav.
It was at this meeting that the party supremo made "his mind clear about Akhilesh", a close aide of Mulayam Singh said.MUST SEE: UP trapped between politics and progress
With the newly elected party legislators already pitching for Akhilesh as chief minister and with a brute majority of 224 in the 403-seat house, leaders with a different opinion on the matter fell in line.
Both Azam Khan and Shivpal Yadav were reported to be unhappy with the decision to make Akhilesh, a youngster in the party compared to both of them, the chief minister.
"For someone who has grown in front of them, you must understand that it is not easy for anyone to see him as a boss," said a close aide of Azam Khan. The differences were thrashed out on Friday night.
An MP from Kannauj, Akhilesh is largely seen as a game changer in UP politics and credited with the massive mandate in favour of the party in the assembly polls.MUST READ: Poll results: Akhilesh storm sweeps UP
An environmental engineer from Sydney University, Akhilesh was appointed state president of the SP in 2009. He slogged it out for the party in hostile situations, with Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati at the helm of affairs.
After his elevation as chief minister, Akhilesh would now quit his seat as MP from Kannauj and is likely to contest elections for the state assembly from Jaswantnagar, a seat for long held by Shivpal Yadav.
Before Akhilesh's election as the chief minister, Mayawati was the youngest Uttar Pradesh chief minister at 39 years of age. All promises will be fulfilled: Akhilesh
Addressing his first press conference after being elected leader of the SP legislature party the Chief Minister designate said all promises made by the Samajwadi Party (SP) will be taken up on priority by his government. Yadav added he was duty bound to fulfill the promises to the people.
"The first priority of the government would be to meet the promises made by us in the manifesto," he said, while thanking the people for the overwhelming majority given to his party. MUST SEE: How UP ranks on development scale
Pointing out that his party would not indulge in any vendetta politics, he warned officials not to be partisan and focus on the law and order situation.
"I urge officials to work fairly, officials who are honest, dedicated and hard working would be rewarded and encouraged while the non-performers would be eased out," he added.
Thanking his uncles Ram Gopal Yadav and Shivpal Yadav for supporting his candidature for the chief minister's post, Akhilesh Yadav said his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav would continue to be in state politics and also play a national role.MUST READ: Poll results: India Inc sees no impact on reforms
"Netaji would be here to guide us and it is with his blessings that we have come so far," he said, adding he would go to the Raj Bhawan later in the day to stake his claim for government formation.
The swearing in, he added, will be held March 15 between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm.