Modi BJP picks firebrand to head India's Uttar Pradesh

Hours after taking oath, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday promised to promised to work for all sections of the society without any discrimination, with focus on development and job creation. "Hindus will rule, so you had better behave".

In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Modi also expressed confidence over the newly formed government and said it would bring record development in the state.

Adityanath said, "I'm grateful to the people of Uttar Pradesh and assure them that the state will move towards development". BJP and its allies have won 325 seats.

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The swearing-in ceremony took place at Lucknow's Smriti Upvan.

Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said the decision sent out an "unambiguous" message that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is pursuing the policy of polarisation.

About the statements by BJP leaders that development will be the party's main agenda in the state, Jha said: "Development is only a facade to actually pursue the Hindutva agenda in India".

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Adityanath's appointment has been interpreted as a sign that, with national elections pending in two years, the BJP intends to double down on its strategy of stitching Hindus, traditionally riven by caste distinctions, into a larger voting bloc. "The Prime Minister may have chosen Yogiji as chief minister so he (Modi) can sail through the 2019 general election by continuing the polarisation of votes, but Yogiji may grow bigger than Modi by 2024", he said over the phone, asking not to be identified.

Earlier Adityanath told mediapersons that his government will follow "sabka saath sabka vikas" agenda and claimed that the previous governments were corruption-ridden because of which the state had suffered. He drew a reprimand from the election authorities for exhorting Hindus to convert 100 Muslims for every Hindu that adopted Islam. He had 18 criminal cases registered against him according to one tally during the 2014 parliament elections, including attempted murder, criminal intimidation and rioting. 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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