Yogi Adityanath, who likened Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan to a terrorist and praised Donald Trump’s travel ban, to lead India’s most populous state
A firebrand Hindu priest who praised Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and once likened the Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan to a terrorist has been chosen to run India’s most populous state.
The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), which last weekend won a landslide victory in local elections in Uttar Pradesh state, announced after a party meeting on Saturday that Yogi Adityanath was its unanimous choice for chief minister.
The party of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, runs on a religious nationalist platform, arguing the country’s identity and culture are inherently Hindu in character.
But the elevation of Adityanath, 44, came as a surprise to many observers after an election campaign in which Modi and other BJP figures emphasised economic development over the party’s “Hindutva” agenda.
Television footage late on Saturday showed cheering BJP workers in the state capital, Lucknow, giving garlands and sweets to the MP, who was sworn in on Sunday.
The chief priest of one of Uttar Pradesh’s largest temples, Adityanath has regularly stirred controversy – and significant personal popularity among rightwing Hindus – with incendiary rhetoric about Indian minorities, particularly Muslims, who make up one-fifth of Uttar Pradesh’s 220 million residents.
Source By https://www.theguardian.com