Newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs in Uttar Pradesh today elected Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adiyanath as their legislature party leader, according to news agency ANI. The decision was taken a week after the party won 312 seats, while its allies 13 seats, taking the alliance's tally to whopping 325 in the 403-member assembly.
Adityanath's name was proposed by BJP leader Suresh Khanna and was supported by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
The BJP legislature party meeting also decided to have two deputy Chief Ministers -- Keshav Prasad Maurya and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after a meeting of the newly-elected 312 BJP legislators here. The oath taking ceremony is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah and union ministers and Chief Ministers of various states.
Naidu said Adityanath, emerged as a consensus candidate in the first meeting of the new legislature party.
"As soon as the MLAs heard Yogiji's name, they stood and supported the proposal," said the minister, who was the BJP observer for the selection of the Chief Minister.
"Eleven MLAs proposed his name and all others unanimously supported it."
Naidu said Adityanath -- who comes from the Rajput community -- wanted two other "senior leaders" to help him run the government smoothly and state BJP chief Maurya and Lucknow Mayor Sharma were chosen as Deputy Chief Ministers.
Known for his firebrand Hindutva image, the 44-year-old leader is the head of the Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur, which has millions of followers from eastern UP and neighbouring Nepal. He has been elected as the Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur uninterrupted from 1998.
A science graduate, Adityanath is popular for his fiery speeches among his supporters but has antagonised minorities by his speeches and statements like Love Jihad, Ghar Wapasi.
OFFICIAL: Yogi Adityanath to take oath as UP CM tomorrow, Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma deputy CMs of the state— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 18, 2017
Yogi Adityanath chosen as legislature party leader pic.twitter.com/qy3F7XNQdc— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2017
News of Yogi Adityanath being chosen as CM designate for UP is based on sources; No official announcement yet.— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2017
* Yogi Adityanath elected BJP legislature party leader, to be sworn in as CM of Uttar Pradesh tomorrow
Supporters of Yogi Adityanath shout 'Yogi,Yogi' outside Lok Bhawan (Lucknow) where BJP MLAs meeting is underway pic.twitter.com/cFlE3CQcAq— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2017
* BJP leaders Yogi Adityanath, Bhupendra Yadav, Om Mathur, KP Maurya & Sunil Bansal held a separate meeting, ahead of BJP MLAs meet
* UP may see Yogi Adityanath as CM; Dinesh Sharma, Keshav Prasad Maurya as Deputy CMs
* Sinha has emerged as the top choice to head the Uttar Pradesh government after strong backing from PM Modi and party president Amit Shah, says senior BJP leader, who declined to be named as the party was still keeping suspense over the post alive, told IANS.
It is almost decided. The announcement is likely to be made after the (newly-elected) BJP MLAs meet in Lucknow on Saturday evening, the BJP leader said.
Na hi mera koi daava tha aur na hi main kisi race mein hoon: Manoj Sinha,Union Minister on next UP CM pic.twitter.com/nSeY85uE5s— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 18, 2017
Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath's supporters demonstrate demanding that Adityanath be made Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh pic.twitter.com/kDmVWpGfiT— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 18, 2017
Not in race for CM post. Legislature party and Parliamentary board decides. Section of media unnecessarily speculating: Manoj Sinha
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu arrives in Lucknow; will hold meeting with BJP MLAs later today. pic.twitter.com/RaBtqqnB8R— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 18, 2017
* Yogi Adityanath, Keshav Prasad Maurya meet Amit Shah in Delhi
* UP BJP Chief Keshav Prasa Maurya's supporters stage demonstration demanding that Maurya be made the CM of UP
Delhi: UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya arrives at Amit Shah's residence to meet him pic.twitter.com/ZuL1zUvuDw— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2017
* Names in the media reports are pure speculative, today evening we will be meeting the MLAs and then we will decide: Venkaiah Naidu on UP CM
Union Minister Manoj Sinha prays at Varanasi's Kaal Bhairav Mandir pic.twitter.com/KJspgHe0m0— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 18, 2017
The new Chief Minister will be sworn-in tomorrow.