The controversial Hindutva leader Yogi Adityanath has been sworn in as 21st Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday afternoon.
State BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma also took over as deputy chief ministers in the ceremony held at Kanshiram Smriti Upvan, where governor Ram Naik administered the oath. Along with the CM and his deputies, the ministry will have 47 members, including 22 cabinet ministers, who also take oath on Sunday. The ministry will also have six women members too.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, outgoing chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and other senior leaders were also present at the event.
According to reports the Yogi Adityanath-led government will be holding a cabinet meeting soon after the ceremony gets over and the first decision of the state government will be to ban slaughterhouses.
Incidentally, the chief minister and the two deputy chief ministers are not members of the state legislature and will have to win the people’s mandate within six months. Aditynath and Maurya are MPs, while Dinesh Sharma is not a member of either Houses of the state legislature.
In a surprising move on Saturday, the BJP had announced the name of Adityanath for the post of India’s most populous state.
Along with prime minister and Amit Shah, senior leaders like LK Advani, Union ministers led by Rajnath Singh and all the 73 BJP MPs from the state, chief ministers of several states and leaders of RSS outfits were also attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Adityanath is the founder of Hindu Yuva Vahini, which is notorious for inflaming religious tensions in the state. His diatribe against religious minorities has made him controversial figure in Indian politics.
The saffron leader has been an epicentre of controversies and there are several criminal cases against him. Some of the charges against him are rioting, attempt to murder, armed with deadly weapon, endangering life or personal safety of others, unlawful assembly, trespassing on burial places and criminal intimidation.
In 2005, Adityanath allegedly led a ‘purification’ drive for conversion of Christians to Hinduism. He was accused of promoting communal disharmony through a Virat Hindustan rally in 2011. In 2015, Yogi Adityanath said that those who oppose yoga can leave India and that they should be drowned. In the same year, the saffron leader reportedly exhorted Hindus to rapoe Muslim women. Adityanath once likened Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed and asked him to go to Pakistan.
Adityanath became the youngest member to be elected to the 12th Lok Sabha at 26 years’ age in 1998. During the tewnure, he was a member of Committee on Food, Civil Supplies, Public Distribution and its Sub-Committee-B on Department of Sugar and Edible Oils; Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs.
In 1999 he was re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (2nd term), where he was a member of Committee on Food, Civil Supplies and Public Distribution; Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs. He was re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha in 2004 (3rd term) and had served as member of Committee on Government Assurances, Committee on External Affairs, Consultative Committee and Ministry of Home Affairs.
In 2009 he was again elected to 15th Lok Sabha (4th term and it repeated in 2014 to the 16th Lok Sabha (5th term) from Gorakhpur constituency.