Yogi Adityanath era begins in Uttar Pradesh

Posted March 19, 2017

Talking to reporters at Raj Bhavan, he said, he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan "Sab ka saath, Sab ka vikas" and ensure all round development of the state.

Modi's BJP won control of the state a week ago, earning the biggest majority there for any party since 1977, after the Prime Minister pitched himself as a man on the side of the poor.

Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh team comprises Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi, Siddharth Nath Singh, Mukut Bihari Verma and Ashutosh Tandon as cabinet ministers. He also thanked the people of state for giving a huge mandate to the BJP.

Yogi Adityanath on Sunday took charge of Uttar Pradesh as its 21st Chief Minister, heading a 47-member ministry that included known Hindutva faces and political turncoats.

Trivendra Singh Rawat, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak who took oath as chief minister of Uttarakhand today, was a below-the-radar leader before his elevation, like Manohar Lal Khattar, whom the Modi-Shah duo picked to head the Haryana government.

The priest vociferously supports cow protection, opposes the eating of beef, which is considered unholy by Hindus, and has praised USA president Donald Trump's proposed travel ban on a group of Muslim-majority countries, saying India needed to emulate such an embargo. "We will work together for the development of all without any bias against community and religion".

'Polarisation' Opposition Congress Party leader Manish Tewari criticised Mr Adityanath's appointment, saying it was a "harbinger for greater polarisation".

The rise of the Hindu priest-turned-politician in Uttar Pradesh, a state prone to sectarian strife, surprised many after Modi made his development agenda the focus of his campaign in the region, which is traditionally fractured along caste and religious lines.

Even as the elections in UP kicked off, Adityanath had made his chief ministerial ambitions clear to the top leadership, sources said. "We want to serve UP's youth and create opportunities for them", he tweeted.

In the recently held polls in the state, BJP had bagged 312 seats, and its allies 13, taking the alliance's tally to 325 in the 403-member Assembly.