Modi picks Hindu hardliner to lead India's most populous state

Miranda GreerMar 19, 2017

Hours after Yogi Adityanath was named as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday hailed the decision saying that soon there would be end of ill governance and hooliganism in the state.

Sources said both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will attend the swearing-in of the new chief minister and his Cabinet on Sunday. But with Yogi Adityanath's elevation, opposition leaders and experts raise questions on whether the BJP, along with the development plan, will peddle on soft Hindutva? So, the BJP's recent victory there is seen as a boost for Prime Minister Modi, who will be seeking another term in 2019's parliamentary elections.

The PM, with his mantra of 'Sabka ka Saath, Sabka Vikas', wants delivery on the ground while also ensuring that all sections of the society get equal rights in the development story of the 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.

A direct reflection of too many claims of CM aspirants is that the state will have two deputy chief ministers from the same party - Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya. He had so far been operating from Gorakhnath temple, which he presides in Gorakhpur and his only organisational ability, proven so far, was in leading his own Hindu Yuva Vahini.

BJP's state unite general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak, while confirming the date for the legislators' meet also informed that two central observers - M Venkaiah Naidu and Bhupendra Yadav - will be here to oversee the election of the new leader.

BJP's firebrand leader Adityanath, who was not even in the race until Friday, emerged as the lead contender.

Adityanath also appealed his supporters to exercise restraint while celebrating his appointment as the chief minister.

Till Saturday noon, there were speculations that Union minister of state for Telecom Manoj Sinha would be the likely choice of the BJP leadership.

According to reports, Home Minister Rajnath Singh is the most favoured in the party to be their representative in UP.

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