Yogi Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh CM: Did Modi just backstab UP voters?

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Hindu colour Mr Adityanath, who always dresses in the Hindu colour of saffron, is the head priest of Gorakhnath Mutt, a temple in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Suspense continued about BJP's chief ministerial pick in Uttar Pradesh as newly-elected MLAs are all set to meet here today to elect the leader, with Union Minister Manoj Sinha among the frontrunners.

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.

"The BJP has betrayed Maurya by not appointing him the Chief Minister. The oath taking ceremony will be on 19 March and all national leaders of the party will attend the ceremony", he told reporters. Cricketer-turned-politician Mohsin Raza was also sworn in as a minister of state becoming the only Muslim face in the Adityanath government.

Talking to reporters at Raj Bhavan, he said, he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan "Sab ka saath, Sab ka vikas" and ensure all round development of the state.

A senior Congress party leader, Veerappa Moily, said Adityanath's selection was "an assault on secularism".

Announcing the decision after a meeting of legislators in Lucknow, Union Urban Development Minister and Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the UP result was a "watershed moment" in the history of BJP.

Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha and is extremely important in the BJP's scheme of things.

"The preparations for the swearing-in ceremony is going on and I have visited the spot to oversee it", BJP state general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

"With an intention to fulfil their RSS agenda, the BJP has named Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister who belongs to "Khastriya Samaj" and by doing so the party has also insulted the "Brahmin Samaj".

This time, the BJP fielded about 30 of his nominees, including 12 members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, Adityanath's private army of cadres that has been accused in several cases of communal violence.

"Investment will be promoted for industrial development and it will be done for economic development", Adityanath added.

As the month-long Uttar Pradesh poll progressed, the rhetoric used by Modi and his campaign chief Amit Shah struck an increasingly harsh tone: In one speech Modi said villages with graveyards should have crematoriums too - a veiled reference to the different burial practices of Muslims and Hindus.

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