Hindu firebrand Yogi Adityanath picked as Uttar Pradesh chief minister

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, an erstwhile BJP veteran from Mumbai, jumped the gun on Friday to announce the swearing-in of the new chief minister on Sunday at 5 pm even while suspense continues over who will lead the country's largest state. The new CM will have two deputies-state BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, an OBC, and Dinesh Sharma, a Brahmin, now Mayor of Lucknow and vice president of the party.

Adityanath said he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan "sab ka saath, sab ka vikas" (With all and development of all) and ensure all round development of the state.

Earlier, BLP registered a historic victory in Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections.

Though the former Chief Minister of the state was initially hesitant to go back to state politics, but is now ready to follow the party leadership's decision. "Whatever one might say, it was a vote for Hindutva".

In the last two and half years as prime minister and prior to that as chief minister of Gujarat for 12 years, Modi was seen as a strong decisive development oriented leader. "The challenge before Yogi Adityanath is to remove this suspicion of the people and to fulfil the commitments which the central leadership has done", Congress leader Rajeev Shukla told ANI.

This would inadvertently give a huge opportunity to the rival opposition parties, which were lately down in dumps to regroup against Modi and the BJP. However, as days passed, the focus shifted on others like Union home minister Rajnath Singh, minister of state for telecommunications (independent charge) Manoj Sinha, BJP national general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal, and state unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya. He is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a social, cultural and nationalist group of youth who seek to provide rightist Hindu platform. BJP has become a common man's party.

A year older than outgoing chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the 1972-born Yogi Adityanath (45) is a science graduate from Garhwal University and was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998 for the first time at the age of 26. Sources said Rajnath was so keen to return as UP CM himself, that he reportedly opposed BJP state president Maurya too on the ground that there were some pending criminal cases against him. Adityanath's mentor and father figure mahant Avaidyanath had a Hindu Mahasabha lineage before he joined the BJP.

  • Patricia Jimenez