Opposition parties tore into the BJP for picking party hard-liner Yogi Adityanath as the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, saying the saffron party was pursuing the “politics of Hindutva”.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said on Sunday that the BJP's victory in Uttar Pradesh is a big lesson for those who 'cheated' Muslims for past 70 years.
Talking to reporters at party office in Bihar after touring Kishanganj, Owaisi questioned those who charged him and his party for helping BJP in elections and said
Mr Modi is making a "NEW INDIA"in UP— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) March 18, 2017
I want to ask those who give lectures on secularism that why secular forces were defeated in Uttarakhand and Odisha (in local bodies elections) where my party did not put up candidates.
For parties which claim to fight for Muslims' cause, he said the Sachar committee report exposes the plight of Muslims for these parties.
On Yogi Adityanath becoming the UP Chief Minister, Owaisi, who is a Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad, said that whoever becomes the Chief Minister, he will have to abide by the country's Constitution and laws.
Here’s how other opposition leaders reacted:
Can the spokespersons of the BJP now put to rest their oft repeated assertion that the RSS is only a social organisation?— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 18, 2017
Yogendra Yadav, National President of Swaraj India, put out a series of tweets in which he launched a scathing attack on Adityanath’s selection.
An Aghast Congress
Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said the decision sent out an “unambiguous” message that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is pursuing a policy of “clear polarisation”.
There is a categorical, unambiguous message being sent by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi. With the choice of a very communal Hindutva champion like Yogi Adityanath, the BJP is going to pursue a policy of clear polarisation, which will effectively mean the consolidation of a hardline Hindutva ideology not just in Uttar Pradesh but in the country.
Commenting on BJP leaders’ statements that development will be the party's main agenda in UP, Jha said: “Development is only a facade for actually pursuing the Hindutva agenda in India.”
Congress leader Rizwan Arshad said, "It is a cruel joke played on the people of UP. Yogi Adityanath is a divisive man, he divides society. He shamelessly propagate divisive agenda, which he carries forward from RSS."
Arshad further asserted that Uttar Pradesh will no remain secular, adding that the state will unfortunately fall back into chaos.
BJP’s decision that the saffron-robed Gorakhpur MP will hold the reins of the state is very unfortunate for the constitution and for the development of the state also. Now, Uttar Pradesh will go back into chaos, masjid-mandir days and old polarisation-communal days.
Resonating similar views, Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal asserted: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi who sought votes from UP people for his policies and development agenda, now will work on his political agenda, as he named Hindutva Hardliner Yogi Adityanath as UP chief minister.”
A Suggestion From Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena, who is already on thin ice with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), gave a wide berth to the controversy and the cries of outrage by the Opposition over Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath being given the reigns of Uttar Pradesh. However, the party added a word of advice for the firebrand priest turned politician
I have no comments to offer on this as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government can appoint anyone as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh according to their will. The controversial remarks won’t work now as he will be the next chief minister of the Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state. If in case he does make such remarks, it will create chaos in the state. Now he should talk about development.Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena leader
Commenting on the Ram temple promise in Ayodhya, Raut asserted that if the Ram temple will not be built even after Yogi Adityanath appointment as UP chief minister, it will never get constructed.
JD (U) national secretary general K C Tyagi said, "We are unhappy with Yogi Adityanath's selection by BJP as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. He is a divisive man who propagates divisive agenda and is known to communally polarise people."
On the other hand, another JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav congratulated Yogi Adityanath saying that the party believes that he will ensure complete development and progress for the state.
My best wishes to the party as they attained massive mandate in Uttar Pradesh polls. We have full faith that Yogi Adityanath will fulfill party’s dream and bring about all-round development of the state,
TMC, CPI(M) Blame Hindutva Agenda
Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said: “The BJP is in majority and it is their prerogative as to whom they name as the Chief Minister. But it is evident that the BJP wants to pursue a strong Hindutva line in Uttar Pradesh.”
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat said the RSS was behind Adityanath’s elevation.
The choice is clear RSS agenda because they want to develop Uttar Pradesh as the center of their Hindutva project.
Baba Ramdev Lauds BJP’s Picks For UP
On the other hand, Baba Ramdev who took a back seat from campaigning for the BJP after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections came out in support of Yogi Adityanath, wishing him the best of luck.
The decision taken by Amit Shah and PM Modi to appoint Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister and to appoint Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma as Deputy Chief Ministers is one of the best decisions.
(With inputs from IANS and ANI)