Controversial Hindu priest chosen as Uttar Pradesh chief minister

Prakash Pant

Prakash Pant

'Yogiji insisted to Venkaiah Naiduji that he needs two more strong arms to rule Uttar Pradesh'.

Speculation is rife in the political circles that the ruling BJP in Gujarat may opt for early Assembly polls in the state, following the party's landslide victory in the Uttar Pradesh election.

March 19 (ANI): In contrast to his firebrand image, newly elected Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday requested his cabinet ministers to refrain from making statements that might hurt people's sentiments.

"Our Government will work for the welfare of the people", he said.

In a surprising choice, 45-year-old Yogi Adityanath (born, Ajay Singh Bisht), a five-time member of the Parliament, has been chosen as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

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. A man who has several criminal cases against him.

He has called upon all Muslims who oppose yoga, practised largely by Hindus, to either leave the country or drown themselves in the sea.

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Observers questioned whether Adityanath would continue pushing his "Hindutva", loosely translated as "Hinduness", ideology as chief minister.

While a host of criticisms have been pouring in over the latest development, check out some of the funniest memes on Twitter, comparing Yogi Adityanath with Vin. "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.

He promised to generate employment, and work for the development of all communities.

Addressing a press conference this evening, Adityanath also said that the party's motto of "sabka saath, sabka vikas" (with all, development for all) was reflected during the swearing-in ceremony.

Modi's dominance has been largely unchallenged since he won the first overall majority in three decades in 2014 elections on a pledge to wipe out corruption and kickstart the economy.

BJP supporters celebrate in Ahmedabad after Yogi Adityanath was sworn in as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

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