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Criticising Yogi Adityanath's selection by BJP as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily today said it is a "big assault" on secularism, but his party said it will act as a watchdog of people's interests.
"It is a big assault on secularism in the country. Maybe, the BJP or RSS would like to endorse their cause of Hinduism. India is not Hinduism. Hinduism is not India.
"India is built above castes and religions and 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family) is the very foundation of our secular society. It is the biggest assault ever done on secularism," Moily said.
However, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on behalf of his party said "Congress Party will continue to act as a watchdog of people's interests and play a constructive role in progress of state of UP".
He also said the prerogative to choose Chief Minister is always of the ruling party. "Excessive delay in arriving at a decision as also the compulsion to create two posts of Deputy CMs reflects a bitter conflict to share spoils of power despite overwhelming majority of over 300 MLAs."
Surjewala wished the new UP government well and said, "we sincerely hope that BJP government in UP will now rise above rival claims and counter claims for share of power and concentrate upon fulfilling the promises made to people including waiving loans of farmers, reducing electricity tariff, giving cost plus 50 pc of MSP to farmers, creating jobs for UP's youth, reviving UP's industries and undertaking 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas'."
Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, in a tribute to the new UP chief minister, put out a poem entitled "Tribute to new CM of UP".
"BJP troll brigade obviously demented IQ deficient. What a pity that party could not find intelligent advocates for lost cause," he also tweeted.
In another tweet, former Union Minister Khurshid said, "No more pretence! Yogi Adityanath to sit where Pantji, NDT, Bahugana et al once sat. Great test PM has put BJP trolls to. Explain this."
Another former Union Minister Rajiv Shukla said, "There is a question mark on whether Yogi Adityanath will fulfil the three issues of good governance, development and taking everybody along. This will also be a challenge for him and one wonders how he will be able to deliver on these fronts. He will have to find solution."
Another Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "Congratulations UP! Hello media the man you called 'fringe' is now mainstream!."
In another tweet, she said, "The New India Mr Modi spoke about, he is now putting into action with the choice of UP CM. Welcome to the new normal..."
She also said, "Also the 'vikas ka mukhauta'. The mask is truly off.. Bring on Shamshaan-Kabristaan, Diwali-Eid narrative".
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)