Free Press Journal

It’s over to hardliners in this key state


Lucknow : The Bharatiya Janata Party has handed over Uttar Pradesh to Hindu hardliners when it named the firebrand Yogi Adityanath as the 21st chief minister of the state. The party’s state president, Keshav Prasad Maurya, who has his roots in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, will be a deputy chief minister along with Dinesh Sharma, the low-profile Mayor of Lucknow. Sharma has had a long association with the RSS.

Apart from the Hindutva angle, the trio named to head the new government takes care of the caste factor with a Most Backward Caste (MBC) and a Brahmin candidate assisting a Rajput at the helm.

The five-time MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath is the second chief minister from eastern UP after Vir Bahadur Singh in 1988.

The disappointing aspect of at least two appointments -— Yogi Adityanath and KP Maurya — is that the leaders have faced criminal charges.

Yogi Adityanath’s appointment was especially received with shock in several quarters as he is a known minority community baiter and the founder of a rightist, nationalist platform called the Hindu Yuva Vahini.

It will have to be seen if work will be allocated to the two deputy CMs on regional basis or they will be given key portfolios. In order to address the concerns over his appointment in some quarters, the chief minister-designate asked all legislators to directly approach him with problems of their region. “There will be no need for them to come through the bureaucratic channel as I will be easily accessible to all the legislators,” he is learnt to have said while seeking the support of all the 325 MLAs of the NDA.