Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

UP choice breaks the mould in Modi's BJP

UP choice breaks the mould in Modi's BJP

The name of Gorakhpur Lok Sabha MP Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindutva leader, was announced as the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in a meeting of the newly-elected 312 BJP legislators on Saturday.

One of the two chief ministers is Keshav Maurya, the BJP's state president for UP, who has a background in the Sangh Parivar's ultra-hard line and sometime violent Vishwa Hindu Parishad as well as the RSS.

Aditya Nath, Yogi, Chief Minister, says the new nameplate at Lucknow's 5 Kalidas Marg, which Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party occupied for the last five years. Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Goa CM Manohar Parrikar were also present.

The oath as Ministers of State (MoS) was taken by Mannu Kori, Sandeep Singh, Suresh Pasi, Neelkanth Tiwari, Girish Chandra Yadav, Baldev Aulakh, Jai Kumar Singh Jacky, Atul Garg, Ranvendra Pratap Singh, Gulab Devi, Jai Prakash Nishad and Archana Pandey. It resumed after Modi signalled the crowd to remain silent.

Adityanath's selection as chief minister despite his streak of rebelliousness and lack of administrative experience underlines the BJP's compulsions in Uttar Pradesh as well as the monk's popular following and his ability to hold the party hostage to his ambition.

A spokesman for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) however said the government did not make any distinction between citizens on the basis of religion.

The win was seen as an affirmation of the popularity of the Prime Minister, who campaigned extensively and promised development ranging from better power supplies to health and education facilities in one of India's poorest states. The BJP won the biggest majority for any party in the state legislature in 40 years.

This time, the BJP fielded about 30 of his nominees, including 12 members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, Adityanath's private army of cadres that has been accused in several cases of communal violence.

He said his efforts would be to provide "good governance" in the state.

He slammed the Congress for not staking claim to forming governments in Goa and Manipur despite winning the largest number of seats.

While speaking to press outside Parliament, Sinha denied of being a contender for CM of Uttar Pradesh and said, "Neither I am in the race nor do I know of any such race".

Earlier today, Adityanath was summoned to Delhi on a special flight to meet Prime Minister Modi, but he returned to Lucknow without being able to meet the PM Modi.

In this respect, he is way ahead of Atal Behari Vajpayee, the tallest leader in the BJP before him, who shied away from taking on the RSS in a frontal confrontation.

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