New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday retained the key home ministry portfolio, signalling his government’s central focus: restoring law and order in the state.

His two deputies, BJP state president Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, former mayor of Lucknow, were allocated public works department (PWD) and higher education.

Setting the tone of his government’s key focus, Adityanath directed senior police officials to evolve a detailed plan to improve law and order besides launching “anti-Romeo" squads to end the menace of sexual harassment.

“The chief minister has given clear instructions in the cabinet meeting that we have to restore rule of law and order in the state and address problems of the public. The aim of the Anti Romeo squad is to make women feel safe and to prevent any wrong incidents happening," Siddharth Nath Singh, state minister told reporters after the cabinet minister.

Keshav Prasad Maurya, deputy chief minister, disclosed that the CM inspected the secretariat annexe and thereafter directed government officials to stop chewing tobacco, pan masala, pan in their offices and using plastic bags.

In addition, the CM also asked police officials to close all illegal slaughterhouses.

During the campaign, BJP in had promised to shut illegal slaughterhouses and mechanised slaughterhouses.

Interestingly, the portfolio allocation, which was decided on Wednesday, also indicates that while the BJP has given key responsibilities to its important leaders, high profile portfolios have also been allocated to senior leaders who had joined the BJP from rival political parties.

Adityanath allocated finance to BJP leader Rajesh Agarwal while parliamentary affairs was allocated to Suresh Khanna, one of the senior-most legislators of BJP. Agriculture was allocated to Surya Pratap Shahi, former state president of BJP, while the two national spokespersons Shrikant Sharma and Sidharth Nath Singh were given power and health ministries respectively.

Former Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi who is now a cabinet minister in the state government was given charge of women and child development. Similarly, former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Swami Prasad Maurya was given the labour ministry, and Dara Singh Chauhan forest and environment. Both Swami Prasad Maurya and Chauhan were key representatives of other backward class community in Mayawati-led BSP.

Among the other former BSP leaders who are now part of the cabinet are SP Singh Baghel who was given charge of animal husbandry and Brajesh Pathak who was allocated law.

Ashutosh Tandon, son of senior party leader Lalji Tandon, got technical education while the sole Muslim in the 47-member cabinet, Mohsin Raza, was given minority affairs.

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