MLAs, not RSS, chose Yogi Adityanath

Yogi Adityanath, who was sworn in as the chief minister on Sunday, had been staying at the VVIP guest house here since he was elected as leader of the BJP legislature party on Saturday.

But his installation as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, where 40 million of its 200 million population are Muslims and where religious tensions have regularly spiralled into bouts of rioting and violence, threatens to turn the state into a tinderbox.

Adityanath, five time MP from Gorakhpur, said he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan "sab ka saath, sab ka vikas" (With all and development of all) and ensure all round development of the state.

A spokesman for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) however said the government did not make any distinction between citizens on the basis of religion.

TRT World 's Shamim Chowdhury has more.

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Yogi, who was also involved in a lot of political controversies, has become talk of the country in the past.

The same year, he warned Hindu parents that Muslim men were seducing their young daughters to convert them to Islam. "Yogi Adityanath is above caste but, unfortunately, some people are attributing caste to him", Mr Naidu said.

Further, he disclosed in his 2014 election affidavit that he faced criminal cases including attempted murder; intimidation; promoting religious enmity; defiling a place of worship; rioting; and trespassing on burial places. "Now people want development, inclusive development", he said.

One of India's most prominent Muslim politicians, former Jammu and Kashmir state chief minister Omar Abdullah, said in a tweet that Muslims in Uttar Pradesh "must be terrified of what the future has in store for them". The chief minister also asked officials to declare their assets - immovable and movable - within 15 days, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said. "CM has requested cabinet ministers to refrain from making unnecessary statements which can hurt someone's sentiment", Uttar Pradesh minister Shrikant Sharma told the media.

In 2015, after Khan complained of growing "extreme intolerance" in India, Adityanath said the Muslim actor was "speaking the same language of [terrorist leader] Hafiz Saeed". He asked the Opposition to be "graceful in defeat", accept the mandate of the people and give a "fair opportunity" to the new chief minister. Before he arrived in New Delhi, Modi was the leader of the western Gujarat state, where, on his watch in 2002, rioting along religious lines led to the deaths of at least 1,000 people, majority Muslims. "The selection of Adityanath has once again exposed the oft-repeated claim of Modi that development will be its main agenda".

  • Leroy Wright