Yogi Adityanath named Uttar Pradesh's next Chief Minister
The state will also have two deputy chief ministers in UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma.
A week after the Bharatiya Janata Party's massive victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, firebrand MP Yogi Adityanath was on Saturday named as the 32nd chief minister of the country's largest state.
Uttar Pradesh will also have two deputy chief ministers in state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma.
The appointments were confirmed after a day of high drama that saw several names being thrown up as nominees for the posts.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu had presided over a BJP legislature party meeting in Lucknow on Saturday evening to zero in on the picks.
"The decision [to appoint Adityanath] was unananimous," Naidu said after the meeting. "After his name was proposed at the meeting by senior legislator Suresh Khanna, all the MLAs stood up in support and did not recommend another name."
Naidu said that BJP President Amit Shah had given his blessings and the idea to appoint deputy chief ministers came from Adityanath.
"He said that UP is a big state and he would need help running it," said Naidu.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also said to have put his stamp on the appointments of Adityanath, Maurya and Sharma, and will attend the swearing-in ceremony on Sunday in Lucknow at 2.15 pm.
"We will end the goonda raj in UP," said Maurya.
Maurya and Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha had been considered among the frontrunners for the post in recent days. The BJP had not named a chief ministerial candidate during the election campaign, relying on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their star face.
The BJP had clinched 312 out of the 403 seats in the Assembly, dethroning Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and the Samajwadi Party.
Arrangements had been made in advance for a grand swearing-in ceremony on Sunday even before the chief minister had been announced.
Sources said the party was extra cautious as it is returning to power in Uttar Pradesh after a 15-year hiatus. Moreover, in view of Lok Sabha election in 2019, BJP cannot afford to take any wrong decision, said some party insiders when asked about the delay in declaring the chief ministerial nominee
After a stupendous win in the Assembly election, the party can ill afford to lower its guard, the sources had said. Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha and is extremely important in the BJP's scheme of things.
The 44-year-old Adityanath if a five-time Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur and is a mascot of the BJP's Hindutva-wrapped agenda of development. He has made a name for himself in recent times with his fiery speeches both in and outside Parliament and controversial statements on the Ram temple in Ayodhya and on the issue of 'love jihad'.