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BJP today played down Hindutva hardliner image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister-elect Yogi Aditynanath, saying it is an image in the media but he stands for development.
"That image may be with media but he (Adityanath) has been elected again and again. He stands for development and that is the agenda we have got and we will will stick to the agenda," party's national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh told reporters soon after the Gorakhpur MP's election as the BJP legislature party leader.
He was asked about the five-time MP's image of a hardline Hindutva leader and whether his election goes against the party's development claims.
Singh, who has been elected as an MLA from Allahabad, said Adityanath's election was no surprise as he was chosen by the elected MLAs democratically and unanimously.
Several party leaders said Adityanath will take the state on the path of development and make it 'Uttam Pradesh' (best state).
"New dimensions of development will be established in the state under him," remarked BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, who was one of the two central observers for the legislature party meeting.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is a Parliamentary Board member as well, said UP will benefit a lot from his "competent leadership" and will soon become 'Uttam Pradesh'.
"Every citizen of the state will benefit from Adityanath's philosophy of people's welfare and taking everybody along. Development of all will be done," Chouhan tweeted.
Another party general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya said Adityanath will take Uttar Pradesh on the path of development and make it the best state.
Adityanath is a bright politician and full of energy, he added.
Named as the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh today, 44-year-old Adityanath, a priest-turned-politician, is known for his provocative speeches and mass following across the state and never shies away from making controversial remarks, be it about Islam or Pakistan.