LUCKNOW: Even as Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath allocated portfolios to ministers in his cabinet on Wednesday, he kept babus on their toes by making a surprise visit to the Secretariat’s annexe building and banning paan and gutkha on office premises.
The suspense over who would keep the crucial Home Department ended after the CM finally decided to keep it himself along with finance, and handed over two other key portfolios — PWD and Higher Education — to his two deputies Keshav Maurya and Dinesh Sharma respectively.
Adityanath also retained Secretariat Administration, Personnel and Appointment, Revenue, Housing and Urban Planning, and Food and Civil Supplies. The other important portfolio Public Works Department (PWD) has gone to deputy CM Keshav Maurya. Notably, Mathura MLA and BJP chief Amit Shah’s favourite Shrikant Sharma has been given the reins of Energy, while the PM’s ‘experiment boy’ Siddharth Nath Singh has been entrusted with Health.
Meanwhile, the CM’s visit to the Secretariat caught the annexe staff unawares. They swung into action after he left the building, cleaning dusty tables and removing cigarettes and gutkha from the premises. This was followed by an office order later issued by deputy registrar Ashok Singh which said that all those caught violating this would face penal action. Also, taking a leaf out of the party’s manifesto, the BJP government in Lucknow took its first step in setting up ‘Anti-Romeo Squads’ across the State.
Such squads drawn by the city police from Gorakhpur to Ghaziabad and Lucknow to Lalitpur, fanned out at markets, malls, schools, colleges, coaching centres and other public places to ensure the safety of women. Five persons were detained and around 900 suspicious elements were quizzed.