Bhartiya Janta Party has named hard line Hindutva leader and Lok Sabha MP Yogi Adityanath to head its government in India’s largest state – Uttar Pradesh.
Forty four year old Yogi is five time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur and a staunch Hindutva leader.
Yogi Adityanath was appointed as the head priest of a prominent Hindu temple in Gorakhpur following the death of its priest Mahant Avaidyanath.
Yogi Adityanath was born into a Garhwali Thakur family and obtained a bachelor degree from a university in Srinagar, Uttarakhand.
The party has also named two deputy chief ministers to manage the politically most important state in the country that sends nearly 15 per cent members to the country’s 543 member lower house.
Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma, a Brahmin leader, and the party’s state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, an OBC leader have been named as deputy chief ministers.
Appointment of a Thakur leader as chief minister and a Brahmin leader and an OBC leader as deputy chief ministers is being seen as an attempt to pacify the party’s new electoral base in the politically sensitive state that has seen deep fissures in the name of caste and religion.
Seniour BJP leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu announced the decision following a hectic meeting of party MLAs in Lucknow.
Selection of the Yogi as UP chief minister followed intense lobbying that saw many names pop up as front runners after the election results were declared on March 11.
Most prominent among them was the name of home minister Rajnath Singh and Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha.
However, Yogi Adityanath, BJP’s Hindutva poster boy pipped others to claim the top post in Uttar Pradesh following the BJP’s resounding victory in the state.
BJP would form the government after a gap of almost 15 years in the state.
Prime Minister Modi has exhaustively campaigned in the state visiting far flung assembly constituences and holding road shows in his constituency Varanasi as the electoral success in the most populous state was crucial to his second term as Prime Minister in 2019 election.
Prime Minister Modi had staked his personal reputation in the crucial state election that saw unprecedented personal attacks by his political rivals.