• MLAs, not RSS, chose Yogi Adityanath: M Venkaiah Naidu

    AgenciesMar 21, 2017, 08:50 IST

    Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu offers sweets to Yogi Adityanath after he was elected leader of the BJP Legislature Party. Pic/PTI
    Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu offers sweets to Yogi Adityanath after he was elected leader of the BJP Legislature Party. Pic/PTI

    New Delhi: RSS did not interfere in the selection of Yogi Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, who was BJP's central observer for election of the state legislature party leader, said yesterday.

    Amid criticism over the BJP going for Hindutva hardliner Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Naidu said it was the legislators who decided on the leader and that is the system in the party. He asked the Opposition to be "graceful in defeat", accept the mandate of the people and give a "fair opportunity" to the new chief minister.

    "It is the legislators under the Parliamentary party board that decide the leader. That is the system in the BJP. RSS never interferes or suggests any names (for the chief minister's post)," Naidu said.

    The Union minister also maintained that after discussions with elected MLAs, he had conveyed their views to BJP national president Amit Shah. "Then, I had a meeting of the legislators. In that meeting, Yogi Adityanath's name was proposed by Suresh Khanna and nine others seconded it.

    "All the legislators stood up and unanimously agreed to the name. So this is the decision of the MLAs of Uttar Pradesh which was approved by the central party," Naidu said.

    'CM will push RSS agenda'
    But BSP chief Mayawati attacked Yogi Adityanath, alleging that he will "divide the state on communal lines" and push RSS agenda in the state. "In Uttar Pradesh, it does not matter if it is the SP or the BJP in power. They cannot control law and order. BJP has appointed a priest as chief minister who will not take forward the agenda of development but will push the RSS agenda.

    "They will divide Uttar Pradesh on communal lines. Now, there will again be an environment of fear in the state," she told reporters.

    TMC MP on Yogi's side
    A Trinamool Congress MP denounced criticism of the Yogi's elevation as UP CM.

    "It is wrong to criticise Yogi Adityanath's elevation to the post of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. Other political parties can't criticize his elevation as he has been democratically chosen by the elected BJP MLAs. BJP has got the majority and it is their prerogative to decide who will be the Chief Minister," senior TMC Vice President and MP Sultan Ahmed said.

    He added, "He is a five time MP. He has been elected by BJP MLAs. In democracy be it a Maulvi or a Yogi, everybody has the right to hold political and constitutional office, if he or she is democratically elected. There is nothing wrong in it."

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