Lucknow: Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, who led his party to win 224 seats in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, was on Saturday chosen to be the Chief Minister of the state.
Akhilesh met the Uttar Pradesh Governor later and staked claim to form the government.
There were reports of celebrations by Samajwadi Party workers across the state as the news of Akhilesh being chosen as the CM got public. He will be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on March 15.
His name was proposed in a key party meet by senior leader Azam Khan, and was supported by the members of the Samajwadi Party at the legislative board meeting.
The election of Akhilesh Yadav, who holds a masters in environmental engineering from Australia, was followed by a thunderous clapping of the assembled gathering of newly-elected MLAs and MPs of the party.
As soon as his name was approved, Akhilesh touched the feet of his 73-year-old father Mulayam Singh Yadav to take his blessings.
The name of Akhilesh, a three-time MP from Kannauj, as the chief minister was earlier proposed by his father and three-time CM of UP, Mulayam Singh Yadav, while the young leader had maintained that he wanted his father to head the state.
In his speech, Azam Khan, considered the Muslim face of SP, said Akhilesh was being given a big responsibility and hoped he would discharge it successfully. He rejected Mayawati's claim that Muslims shifted to SP because of the fear of the BJP and said the Muslims were always with the SP from the days of Babri Masjid demolition.
"The party got more votes than it got after Babri mosque demolition", Khan added.
Akhilesh at the age of 38 has become the youngest chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. There were strong voices within the party supporting him to be the chief minister.
Though there were oppositions from Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav on the name of Akhilesh as the chief minister, he was later convinced by the former chief minister.
The Congress did not delay in congratulating Akhilesh on the achievement. Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken posted a tweet saying, "All the Best Akhilesh! Prove that the Youth of this country has matured to assume a leadership role.High expectations the only disadvantage."
It must be noted that the credit for the win of the Samajwadi Party and the routing of Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has been unanimously given to a rigorous campaign by Akhilesh across the state.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)