Hardline Hindu priest becomes UP chief minister

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has not yet shifted to his official residence – Lucknow’s 5 Kalidas Marg.

“Let us face it. Yogi Adityanath does not even belong to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS); he is from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)”.

The BJP won the biggest majority for any party in the state legislature in 40 years. Raza, a state-level cricketer turned politician, joined the party in 2013.

In another tweet, the Prime Minister said, “With the blessings of people and hardwork of our karyakartas, the BJP has formed governments in four out of the five states that went to the polls”. BJP spokespersons Shrikant Sharma and Siddharth Nath Singh have also been given Cabinet rank.

While PM Modi has always insisted he believes in keeping religion and politics separate, Yogi Adityanath’s installation as chief minister of a communally sensitive state as UP reflects the vast gap between his “kathni” and “karni”.

As the meeting was about to begin, an element of surprise gripped the venue when Adityanath reached Lok Bhawan opposite the imposing Assembly complex.

Of them, Gupta became chief minister three times.

He heads a 47-member Council of Ministers, including two deputy CMs, which was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ram Naik at a grand 90-minute ceremony.

After taking oath Yogi Adityanath walked over to and sought the blessings of BJP veterans L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as well as Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister.

Chetan Chauhan, Shrikant Sharma, Rajendra Pratap Singh, Om Prakash Rajbhar, Brajesh Pathak and Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary were also sworn-in as cabinet ministers. The meeting on Saturday will be attended by party leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Bhupendra Yadav.

Suspense continued about BJP’s chief ministerial pick in Uttar Pradesh as newly-elected MLAs are all set to meet here today to elect the leader, with Union Minister Manoj Sinha among the frontrunners.

CM Adityanath said, “all his cabinet ministers will have to declare details of their sources of income, movable and immovable assets to the Secretary to Chief Minister and to the party within 15 days”.

After the end of the ceremony, Mulayam and Akhilesh met Prime Minister Modi for a brief chat.

He has spoken of installing Hindu idols in mosques, accused Mother Teresa of a “conspiracy” to spread Christianity through charitable work, and urged Hindus to practise yoga while asking those who don’t to get out of the country.

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