ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2017

Law and order is top priority, Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath tells officials

20 March 2017, 06:52 | Myron Mathis

Modi's Choice of a Hindu Hardliner to Run India's Most Populous State Poses Major Questions

Yogi Adityanath

He will be sworn in on Sunday at a ceremony at Kanshiram Smriti Upvan, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will be present.

Adityanath has often fanned flames over religious conversions, inter-religion marriages, and has reportedly been arrested and charged with several crimes in the past including rioting, attempt to murder and trespassing on burial places.

This debate resurfaced in India this weekend, after the BJP named Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu hardliner, as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP), the country's most populous and politically significant state, where Modi's party scored an overwhemling victory in a ballot to pick the next state government.

"Our Government will work for the welfare of the people". "The administration will be made accountable and answerable", Adityanath said.

Adityanath had a testy relationship with the BJP leadership and his elevation has left many puzzled, with political circles abuzz with talk of RSS having prevailed over the party in deciding the new chief minister.

Naidu's statement comes in the wake of reports that RSS played a major role in selecting Adityanath as UP chief minister.

The Times of India called his selection a "defiant assertion" of the BJP's Hindu nationalist credentials.

Adityanath (the MP from Gorakhpur), Maurya and Dr Sharma are not elected members of the UP legislature and will have to get elected either to the assembly or the legislative council in the next six months. In 2015, he had said that those who don't practise surya namaskar can leave India and had also compared actor Shah Rukh Khan to terrorist Hafeez Saeed.

He recently praised Trump's ban on refugees and immigrants from seven majority Muslim nations, arguing that "similar is needed to contain terror activities in this country". "We will kill 10 Muslims", he is seen saying. "I have enormous confidence that this new team will leave no stone unturned in making U.P. 'Uttam Pradesh.' There will be record development", he said on Twitter.

Official sources said Adityanath expressed concern over the incident and stressed that restoring law and order was the top priority of his government.

"It's bewildering to so many people, because Adityanath's public image is not at all in sync with Modi's image", said A K Verma, a political scientist who heads the Centre for the Study of Society and Politics in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Yogi has been popular for his inflammatory speeches and direct attack on his political and religious rivals and now BJP has elevated him to post of UP chief minister to pursue their agenda and policies.

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