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Hindutva icon Yogi is new UP CM, to take oath on Sunday (Roundup)

IANS  |  Lucknow 

In a surprise move, the on Saturday chose firebrand Hindutva leader as the new Chief Minister with two deputies -- a first in the state -- in Keshav Prasad Maurya and Sharma.

The new dispensation would be sworn in on Sunday at 2.15 p.m., Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after a meeting of the newly-elected 312 legislators here. The oath taking ceremony is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Amit Shah and union ministers and Chief Ministers of various states.

Naidu said Adityanath, 44, the five-time Gorakhpur MP, emerged as a consensus candidate in the first meeting of the new legislature party.

"As soon as the MLAs heard Yogiji's name, they stood and supported the proposal," said the minister, who was the observer for the selection of the Chief Minister.

"Eleven MLAs proposed his name and all others unanimously supported it."

Naidu said Adityanath -- who comes from the Rajput community -- wanted two other "senior leaders" to help him run the government smoothly and state chief Maurya and Lucknow Mayor Sharma were chosen as Deputy Chief Ministers.

This is for the first time in the history of that the state will have two deputy heads of the government. sources told IANS here that this was done to balance caste aspirations since now there is a Rajput as chief minister and an MBC and a Brahmin face as deputies.

Adityanath is the head of the Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur, which has millions of followers from eastern and neighbouring Nepal.

A science graduate, the Chief Minister-designate is popular for his fiery speeches among his supporters but has antagonised minorities by his statements like "Love Jihad" and "Ghar Wapasi".

Known for his hardline Hindutva politics, he had proposed a US-like anti-Muslim immigration ban to stop terrorism in India. "Similar action is needed to contain terror activities in this country," he said in his controversial remarks ahead of the elections that the won with a landslide, trumping the opposition.

He also courted controversy by comparing western Uttar Pradesh, which has a huge concentration of Muslims, with Kashmir over the alleged Hindu exodus from Kairana. "Have you forgotten the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990? If you do not wake up even now, you will also be forced to migrate to other regions," he said, promising to act "strictly" against those who were forcing Hindus to flee if the came to power.

Opposition parties lashed out at the over the election of the Hindutva leader for the top post in the country's most populated state.

"There is a categorical, unambiguous message being sent by Prime Minister Modi. With the choice of a very communal, a Hindutva champion like Yogi Adityanath, the is going to pursue a policy of clear polarisation," Congress leader Sanjay Jha told IANS.

Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said it was the prerogative of the BJP, which is in a majority, to make the choice but "it is evident that it wants to pursue a strong Hindutva line"

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat told IANS: "The choice is a clear RSS agenda because they want to develop as the centre of Hindutva project."

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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