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Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Modi BJP picks firebrand to head India's Uttar Pradesh

Modi BJP picks firebrand to head India's Uttar Pradesh

"Only a party which has sheer contempt towards secularism and democracy can elevate such a person to the office of Chief Minister", the Left leader alleged.

"I am confident that the state will march on the path of development", he said.

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 took oath along with Deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and the rest of his cabinet.

His trip to Lucknow is scheduled for March 19 when the new government will be sworn in, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.

Defending the lack of Yogi Adityanath's administrative experience, members of his Lucknow unit of the Hindu Yuva Vahini said in Gorakhpur he administers a temple, many hospitals and colleges.

On portfolios, Mr. Sharma said no decision has been taken yet.

But the BJP, which won 312 of the total 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh, reassured Adityanath would work for development and anti-corruption.

In 2015, after Khan complained of growing "extreme intolerance" in India, Adityanath said the Muslim actor was "speaking the same language of [terrorist leader] Hafiz Saeed".

BJP supporters celebrate in Ahmedabad after Yogi Adityanath was sworn in as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. However, in choosing these leaders, the BJP has also ignored western and north-western Uttar Pradesh, from where it swept the 2017 elections.

Adityanath's choice also didn't fit into the scheme of "caste balance", party leaders said, pointing out that both Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh would now have upper caste Thakurs as chief ministers.

By appointing Adityanath, the BJP appears to be indicating that it will go ahead with a strong pro-Hindutva and developmental agenda in 2019.

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