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  India   Politics  19 Mar 2017  Adityanath chosen UP Chief Minister

Adityanath chosen UP Chief Minister

Published : Mar 19, 2017, 1:01 am IST
Updated : Mar 19, 2017, 6:43 am IST

BJP’s Hindutva mascot, the saffron-robed has made several polarising remarks.

 BJP leader Yogi Adityanath. (Photo: PTI)
  BJP leader Yogi Adityanath. (Photo: PTI)

Lucknow: In a surprise move, the BJP on Saturday announced that Gorakhpur’s controversial MP Yogi Adityanath would be the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The state will also have two deputy chief ministers — UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and Lucknow mayor Dinesh Sharma.

The chief minister-designate and the two deputy chief ministers are, incidentally, not members of the state legislature. Yogi Aditynath and Keshav Maurya are MPs, while Dinesh Sharma is not a member of either House of the state legislature.

After his election, Yogi Adityanath along with his senior colleagues from the BJP went to Raj Bhavan to officially stake claim. Governor Ram Naik has invited him to form the government. The chief minister and his Cabinet will be sworn in at a grand ceremony in Lucknow on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are expected to be present at the swearing-in.

A Thakur and a five-time MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath’s name was declared by Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, one of the two central observers at the first BJP legislature party meeting held in the newly-constructed chief minister’s office known as ‘Lok Bhavan’. His name was proposed by Suresh Khanna, an eight-term MLA and was unanimously accepted by the MLAs amidst chants of “Jai Shri Ram”.

The election of Yogi Adityanath was preceded by high drama. Adityanath was summoned to Delhi by a chartered flight on Saturday morning. After meeting BJP president Amit Shah, he returned to Lucknow along with Mr Maurya on Saturday afternoon. The legislature party meeting was also delayed by over an hour as Mr Naidu held a closed-door meeting with Mr Maurya, party general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, Yogi Adityanath and senior BJP leader Om Mathur at the VVIP guest house.

The presence of BJP MP Yogi Adityanath at the meeting triggered off speculations since his presence as an MP was unwarranted. The presence of union minister Anupriya Patel at the meeting was equally surprising. Thousands of his supporters, who had started coming to Lucknow as soon as Yogi Adityanath left for Delhi, thronged the Lok Bhawan gates chanting, “Yogi Yogi”.

The supporters became restive as the meeting continued and many of them tried to scale the high iron gates and break into the venue. As soon as news of him being appointed chief minister trickled out, his supporters danced with joy and burst crackers.

His supporters had been demanding that he be named the chief minister even before the results were announced. Posters depicting him as Lord Krishna and Ram have surfaced all through the state.

The 45-year-old leader’s name is believed to have been finalised keeping in mind his immense popularity in eastern UP. The BJP has the highest stakes for the 2019 general elections and Yogi’s image as a Hindu hardliner will keep the votes polarised on religious lines.

With two deputy chief ministers, the BJP has also tried to strike a caste balance in Uttar Pradesh. After its thrust on OBCs during the elections, the BJP leadership has tried to placate the upper castes with a Thakur chief minister, a Brahmin and an OBC deputy chief minister.

Tags: yogi adityanath, keshav prasad maurya, ram naik, amit shah, narendra modi, dinesh sharma
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow