Lucknow, May 16 (IANS) Satish Chandra Misra, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s close confidant who is also known as the Brahmin mascot of her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), joined the state cabinet Wednesday night.
Governor T.V. Rajeshwar administered to him the oath of office and secrecy at a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhawan at 7.30 p.m.
The development took everyone by surprise as Misra had earlier not shown any inclination to be part of the government and was stated to have expressed his keenness to keep himself free for a larger role in the party at the national level.
Asked why he was not sworn in Sunday when 48 ministers took oath, Misra told reporters: “Well, the chief minister told me that she wanted me to be sworn in, so I readily agreed to join her cabinet.”
Misra, 55, had earlier served as state advocate general during Mayawati’s third stint as chief minister.
He is credited with taking BSP to new heights by securing support from a large section of Brahmins to what was originally a Dalit party.
Misra’s induction in the ministry came close on the heels of the resignation by a cabinet minister Sukhdeo Rajbhar, who is tipped to become the speaker of the new assembly that meets May 21.
The newly elected legislators will take oath in the assembly Thursday and Friday after which they will formally elect a speaker.
Meanwhile, portfolios of the ministers are yet to be allotted.