Appointing 'extremist' Yogi not in favour of nation: Congress

BJP supporters celebrate in Bareilly UP on March 11 2017 after the election results were announced

BJP supporters celebrate in Bareilly UP on March 11 2017 after the election results were announced

Interestingly, after Yogi Adityanath took the oath and addressed his first press conference as chief minister, the newspaper's editorial on 20 March, sounded more optimistic, especially, because of the new CM's utterances.

Adityanath was sworn in as Uttar Pradesh CM.

The party has long argued that the "democratic and secular forces" should evolve an alternative programme and not just bank on pre-poll alliances.

"BJP leaders used to attack Samajwadi Party over poor law-and-order but now that it has secured the mandate, the party handed the state to a leader who faces several criminal cases", it writes. Eight turncoats, who switched over to BJP and won the elections, were also accommodated in the Council of Ministers.

Adityanath is yet to resign from the Lok Sabha, where he is into his fifth consecutive term.

There was widespread shock and surprise when Yogi Adityanath, a long-standing BJP member of parliament from eastern UP, who always dresses in saffron priest's robes, was unexpectedly chosen by the party's leaders following the party's landslide state election victory a week ago.

With this, the Adityanath government has 24 cabinet ministers, including two deputy CMs, nine MoS (independent charge) and 13 ministers of state.

"I am confident that the state will march on the path of development", he said. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its followers, unsurprisingly, support Adityanath's choice. "Allowing Hindutva hardliners to helm a major state is a costly mistake", said journalist Malini Parthasarathy on Twitter as #YogiAdityanath became a top-trending topic in India.

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Adityanath's anti-Muslim rhetoric has raised concerns among Uttar Pradesh's Muslims, who form almost a fifth of the state's population.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, a Congress party spokeswoman, tweeted that Adityanath had gone from the fringe of Indian politics to the mainstream, adding that the "mask is truly off" the Modi government.

Venkaiah Naidu, minister for federal information and broadcasting, called it a "watershed moment in the history of the BJP".

"It is a message in favour of consolidating the Hindu communal vote", said Delhi-based political analyst Amulya Ganguli.

The people of Uttar Pradesh will now be under a chief minister whose obnoxious statements from the past are reasons enough for anybody sensible to fear the road ahead for Uttar Pradesh.

The temple premises, which are spread across 60 acres, have been decorated with flowers and colourful balloons in anticipation of the chief minister's arrival.

During the recent elections in the highly-polarised state, he had stirred controversy by making claims of discrimination against Hindus and stoked anti-Muslim sentiments.

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