NEW DELHI: Criticising Yogi Adityanath’s selection by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, the Congress on Sunday dubbed the decision as a 'cruel joke' and said the development has ensured that the state will no longer remain secular.
Speaking to ANI here, 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," he added.
Resonating similar views, Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal asserted that BJP's decision to make Yogi the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is a part of their political agenda.
"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," said Afzal.
The BJP named Yogi Adityanath as the next Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister while Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma have been appointed as the deputy chief ministers of the state on Saturday.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the oath taking ceremony would take place at 2:15 p.m. today in Uttar Pradesh in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
Adityanath had flown to New Delhi on Saturday to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Adityanath, a five-time MP from the Gorakhpur constituency, was the youngest member of the 12th Lok Sabha at the age of 26.
Currently, Adityanath serves as the Mahant of Guru Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, following the death of Mahanth Aavaidyanath on September 12, 2014.
The other contenders in the race were Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, Union Minister Manoj Sinha, BJP leader Shrikant Sharma and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Yogi Aditya Nath, a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur, was unanimously elected BJP Legislature Party leader at a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs in Lucknow last evening.