His becoming a minister wasn’t unexpected but a symbol of faith reposed by the party in a dedicated worker and a “slap” on the faces of the opposition Samajwadi Party and Congress, said Uttar Pradesh lone Muslim minister Danish Azad Ansari on Friday.
Not a member of either house of the UP legislature, Mr Ansari, who is from Ballia, took oath as one of the 52 ministers in Yogi Adityanath’s government on Friday.
“I am very glad that I have been given the opportunity. My appointment as minister is a slap by the BJP for the SP (Samajwadi Party) and Congress. Muslims have got the benefit of every scheme of the Yogi government. There is participation of Muslims in the plans. I will strive to bring together Muslims,” he told NDTV.
“I thank the party for giving an ordinary party worker like me such a big opportunity. I thank them for this. I would discharge my duties with full honesty,” he told news agency PTI.
When asked whether getting the ministerial berth was unexpected, he said, “No, this was not the case. The BJP recognises 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 also claimed that the faith of Muslims in the BJP has increased.
“The welfare schemes run by the BJP are benefitting the Muslims. This government does not ask anyone’s caste and religion before giving them benefits of the schemes. The BJP works for basic facilities and necessities of the Muslims,” he said.
Mr Ansari replaced Mohsin Raza, who served as the Minister of State for Minorities Welfare in the previous Yogi Adityanath government, as its only Muslim face.
The 32-year-old had joined the BJP-linked student body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 2010 when he was a student at Lucknow University. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Quality Management.
He was nominated to the Urdu Language Committee in the Yogi government in October 2018, and with it, received Minister of State status.
Mr Ansari was appointed the General Secretary of the Minorities Cell of the BJP just before the Assembly elections.