Yogi Adityanath took oath as the 21st chief minister of Uttar Pradesh here on Sunday, along with deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, 22 cabinet ministers, nine ministers of state (independent charge) and 13 ministers of state.
The BJP had thrown a surprise by naming Yogi Adityanath, Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma as candidates for Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Deputy chief ministers. The reason for his proximity to BJP leadership is that he is Lucknow mayor, a constituency which was once represented by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and is now by Union home minister Rajnath Singh. Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Goa CM Manohar Parrikar were also present.
The oath taking ceremony of Yogi was to take place at 2:15 IST today.
"Modi is saying India is a Hindu country and shall remain so", veteran journalist and commentator Shekhar Gupta told Reuters.
This has meant however that a Hindu agenda has been stressed earlier in the life of the national BJP government than Modi seems to have intended. Fourteen ministers are from western UP and eight from central UP, from where the BJP and its allies won 109 and 67 seats, respectively. "There will be record development", tweeted Modi, who shared the dais with the new CM.
"By picking him to govern India's largest state, Modi and [BJP President Amit] Shah have sent a clear message that they will be bound by neither the norms of "politics as usual" nor the requirements of political correctness", the Times wrote.
India's 1.3 billion people are about 80 percent Hindu and 14 percent Muslim, with the rest made up of Christians, Sikhs and other minorities. "The Prime Minister may have chosen Yogiji as chief minister so he (Modi) can sail through the 2019 general election by continuing the polarisation of votes, but Yogiji may grow bigger than Modi by 2024", he said over the phone, asking not to be identified.
An official declaration on who would be the Chief Minister is being anticipated on Saturday after the Uttar Pradesh MLA's meet in Lucknow.
Still, many wonder if Mr Adityanath can provide strong governance, strengthen the economy and free the state from corruption.
Ved Prakash Gupta and Brijesh Singh, the BJP MLAs from Ayodhya and Deoband, categorically denied there was any opposition to Adityanath's name or there were other leaders in the fray.
Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh team comprises Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi, Siddharth Nath Singh, Mukut Bihari Verma and Ashutosh Tandon as cabinet ministers.
For me the two best news are Narendra Modi being PM And Yogi Being the Chief Minister of UP. And then comes the shocker of the elevation of Adityanath, a man who is not religious but communal.