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A sole Muslim face in Hindu hardliner cabinet


NEW DELHI: As many as 52 ministers were sworn in as members of Hindu hardliner chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet in Uttar Pradesh that returned for a record second term following BJP’s landslide victory in 2022 assembly polls. Among ministers, Danish Azad Ansari is the sole Muslim face. Hailing from Ballia district, Ansari replaced Mohsin Raza, who served as the minorities welfare minister in Adityanath’s 1.0 government.

Ansari, 32, joined ABVP when he was a student at Lucknow University from where he did his graduation. He is one of 31 new faces that have made an entry into Adityanath’s new government.

Following his selection in the new cabinet, Ansari said that it was not unexpected. “The BJP recognizes the hard work of each and every worker. For me, it is a symbol of the trust reposed by the party in its dedicated worker,” he was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India (PTI).

He thanked the saffron camp for giving an “ordinary party worker” like him such a “big opportunity” and promised to fulfill his duties with “full honesty”.

Furthermore, Ansari claimed that the faith of the Muslim community in the BJP has increased in the northern state. He said welfare schemes introduced by the BJP have benefitted his people and that the government does not ask “anyone’s caste and religion” before offering them facilities.

Ansari along with Baldev Aulakh, a Sikh minister of state and second-time lawmaker from Bisalpur constituency seat, will now be the minority representations of the Adityanath 2.0 government.

Here are some facts about Ansari, the only Muslim face in Adityanath’s new government:

Ansari is the general secretary of BJP’s minority cell in Uttar Pradesh. He was appointed in this position right before the 2022 assembly elections.

Ansari was appointed as a member of the Urdu Language Committee in the previous Adityanath government in October 2018. He had held the minister of state status at the committee.

Ansari has completed his schooling at Ballia’s Holy Cross School.

The swearing-in ceremony that took place at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium earlier in the day saw a huge crowd. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, defense minister Rajnath Singh, Union sports minister Anurag Thakur and Union women and child development minister Smriti Irani, among others, were present at the event. Chief ministers of several BJP-ruled states, including Madhya Pradesh’ Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Uttarakhand’s Pushkar Singh Dhami, and Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar.


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