Yogi Adityanath as UP CM: Uma Bharti expresses delight

File image of Manoj Sinha

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath yesterday pledged to work for all sections without bias and said he believed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan "sabka saath sabka vikas".

He will follow it up with a press conference at 5 pm.

In an apparent move to allay fears that he, as a long-time Hindutva icon, might discriminate against the minorities, Adityanath promised there would be no bias for or against anyone.

By choosing a higher caste Bhumihar Brahmin to lead the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a caste-conscious Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi is once again confirming that the qualities that inspire such judgments are merit and caliber but not caste considerations.

"Our government is fully committed to fulfilling the promises made (before the assembly elections)".

About the statements by BJP leaders that development will be the party's main agenda in the state, Jha said: "Development is only a facade to actually pursue the Hindutva agenda in India".

Cricketer-turned-politician Mohsin Raza is the lone Muslim face in the ministry.

While Sharma has opted for an active yet low-profile public life, on Sunday he came under the spotlight as he took oath as deputy chief minister.

Besides the two deputy CMs, the cabinet includes 22 ministers, nine ministers of state with independent charge and 13 ministers of state. It seems now that the BJP government in UP will go ahead with further communalization and consolidation of expanded Hindutva constituency before the 2019 general elections, besides peppering it with development of most backward UP with one-sixth of population and nearly one-fifth of Lok Sabha seats. The CM also nominated two ministers - Sidharth Nath Singh and Srikant Sharma - as spokespersons who would regularly brief the media about the government's works and cabinet decisions.

Suresh Rana, an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, and Swati Singh, wife of Dayashankar Singh who had used abusive language against Mayawati, were sworn in as junior ministers. Baldev Aulakh, a Sikh, who won the election from Bilaspur in Rampur, was also sworn in.

Yogi Adityanath is saffron-robed Hindu priest, a five-term member of India's Parliament and has more than a dozen criminal cases pending against him, including an attempted murder charge.

Yogi Adityanath was not projected as the chief ministerial face during the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh as that department was taken care of exclusively by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

These are Swami Prasad Maurya (from BSP), Rita Bahuguna Joshi (Congress), Dara Singh Chouhan (BSP), SPS Baghel (SP), Brajesh Pathak (BSP), Laxminarayan Chaudhary (BSP) and Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi (Congress).

But as far as being the champion of hate speech goes, Yogi gained further notoriety when he was linked to a video that showed him sharing the stage with another right-wing leader, who told the audience to dig up and rape Muslim women's corpses.