Adityanath is caste neutral: BJP

Newly appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

In a debate on Uniform Civil Code in November a year ago, Adityanath said the census population numbers of 2011 were "shocking" as they showed gross imbalance, with the growth rate of Hindus falling and that of Muslims increasing at a fast pace. "Those reveal his seasoned thinking on various issues of governance", Naidu said. Also, his peeth has followers largely from backward castes, especially Yadavs. He is a yogi. Comprising almost 20 per cent of the state's population, and with a chief minister who has been openly hostile to the community, their political marginalisation is complete. He is a holy man and, therefore, caste doesn't stick to him. According to BJP insiders, Home Minister Rajnath Singh is miffed with Yogi's appointment as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

If it was independent, Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to India's parliament, would be the world's fifth most populous country.

Senior party leader and Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was the central observer at the Legislature Party meeting, said it was a watershed moment for the BJP and it has become a common man's party. But insiders said that once the BJP had 312 seats in its kitty, the Gorakhpur MP's selection was a foregone conclusion.

The Chief Minister later in the day will meet Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and party veteran Lal Krishna Advani and then depart for Lucknow by evening 5:50 pm.

In choosing Adityanath, whose track record for vituperative speeches does not fit him in the mould of BJP chief ministers handpicked by Modi earlier, the PM may have taken a big risk.

People from the state and across India have jumped on to the Internet to get glimpses of the Yogi's life and his political journey.

During the meeting of legislators itself, Adityanath himself suggested that there was a need for two deputies.

The state has more than 1,000 illegal buffalo slaughterhouses and 130 legal ones that, a report by the animal husbandry department says, produce over 75,000 tonnes of meat annually.

The first signs of his firm-hand administration came when in his introductory meeting with the state cabinet, the Yogi asked all his ministers to provide details of their income, moveable and immoveable assets within 15 days.

  • Leroy Wright