Yogi Adityanath sworn in as UP CM; PM Narendra Modi stresses development

Mar 20, 2017, 00:24
Yogi Adityanath sworn in as UP CM; PM Narendra Modi stresses development

It would also be pertinent to mention here that the BJP's vote share in the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has come down slightly to almost 40 per cent from 2014's 42.3 per cent.

But the BJP, which won 312 of the total 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh, reassured Adityanath would work for development and anti-corruption.

Swapan Dasgupta, a right-leaning commentator, said Adityanath was associated with "a certain brand of militant Hindu assertion" but that he was also "one of the most charismatic and captivating politicians in Uttar Pradesh".

Although the BJP had not fielded any Muslim candidate, former cricketer Mohsin Raza, who had supported a Ram temple in Ayodhya last week, made it as a minister of state.

While BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said the choice was democratic - a unanimous decision taken by the state's MLAs - but it looks Adityanath was picked by the top office.

In 2015, after Khan complained of growing "extreme intolerance" in India, Adityanath said the Muslim actor was "speaking the same language of [terrorist leader] Hafiz Saeed".

Adityanath has often fanned flames over religious conversions, inter-religion marriages, and has reportedly been arrested and charged with several crimes in the past including rioting, attempt to murder and trespassing on burial places.

With such a big minority population and the kind of statements this man has made, how do you build trust in the leadership in Uttar Pradesh?

POLITICAL ANALYST SANDEEP SHASTRI, on concerns over Mr Adityanath's strident anti-Muslim stance.

Regionally, at least 17 ministers belong to eastern Uttar Pradesh, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Calling the swearing in of a new BJP government a historic occasion, the Chief Minister recalled BJP ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, saying his government was committed to fulfilling his dream of antyodaya.

He had said on Saturday he would follow Modi's slogan "sab ka saath, sab ka vikas" and ensure all round development of the country's most populous state.

The sources said the party is extra cautious as it is returning to power in Uttar Pradesh after a 15-year hiatus.

Interestingly, while the BJP did not field a single Muslim in the poll, they nominated one member from the community as Minister of State. "With the choice of a very communal, Hindutva champion like Yogi Adityanath, the BJP is going to pursue a policy of clear polarisation, which will effectively mean the consolidation of a hardline Hindutva ideology not just in Uttar Pradesh but in the country", Jha told IANS. "He has to bring Yogi in line and that will be a huge achievement".