Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to lead Opposition in UP Assembly
- Akhilesh Yadav will be the Leader of Opposition in UP Vidhan Sabha
- The former CM managed to increase SP’s vote share in the polls
- SP won 111 seats having increased its vote share since 2017
Akhilesh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party chief, will lead the Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017, was a member of Parliament until he won the elections from Karhal in the recently-concluded polls. He is considered a key player for building a robust Opposition unity going into the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
While the BJP swept to power in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls with 255 seats out of 403, Akhilesh-led Samajwadi Party significantly increased its vote share from the 2017 polls. The Samajwadi Party won 111 seats having increased its vote share by around 10%.
Akhilesh’s elevation to the Leader of Opposition post comes only a day after Yogi Adityanath took oath as the chief minister of India’s biggest state. In winning the elections, Yogi achieved a rare feat. No incumbent government has returned to power in Uttar Pradesh since the 1980s.
As such, Adityanath’s swearing-in ceremony was grandiose with chief ministers of all BJP-ruled states in attendance.
The newly-elected Uttar Pradesh government has also given out ministerial berths. Fifty-two MLAs were sworn-in as ministers on Friday. Of these, 18 have received cabinet berths, 14 are Members of State and 20 are junior ministers.
The ministry distributions follow the caste dynamics of the politically powerful sections of the BJP’s voters. The BJP in Uttar Pradesh draws a large amount of support from Brahmin and Thakur voters as well as non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
In the Uttar Pradesh Council of Ministers, there are 21 MLAs from the so-called upper castes, including the chief minister, 20 MLAs from among OBCs, nine Dalit leaders, and one minister each from the Muslim, Sikh and Punjabi communities. Yadavs, who form the core voter base of the Samajwadi Party usually, did support the BJP in some quarters. To satiate them, some ministerial berths have landed with the Yadavs.
The highlight of the ministry distribution exercise was the retention of Keshav Prasad Maurya, who lost the Assembly elections, as a deputy CM.