Uttar Pradesh chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, with deputy chief ministers KP Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, in Lucknow on March 18, 2017. (Photographer: Nand Kumar/PTI)

Yogi Adityanath Takes Over As Chief Minister Of Uttar Pradesh

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and five-time Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath has been sworn in as the twenty-first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow on Sunday.

BJP state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and party's national vice president Dinesh Sharma were sworn in as cabinet ministers by Governor Ram Naik at a grand ceremony at Kanshiram Smriti Upvan here. They will assist the 44-year-old Adityanath as as deputy chief ministers.

The BJP and its allies secured a big majority in the state of Uttar Pradesh, winning 325 out of the 403 seats in the assembly elections held earlier this month.

Clad in his trademark saffron-coloured robe, Aditayanth, a Gorakhpur MP, has been seeking greater power and is expected to give a push to BJP's Hindutva-wrapped agenda of development with the emergence of a separate powerbase for the party in eastern UP.

Born Ajay Singh, the diminutive shaven headed politician is a strong votary of construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. He drove BJP's Hindutva campaign in eastern UP in the just concluded Assembly polls in the politically crucial state where it won three- fourths majority.

Adityanath had floated Hindu Yuva Vahini, a right-wing outfit, in 2002. Ever since, the HYV has been largely instrumental in his meteoric rise - from a student leader to five-time MP.

Yogi Adityanath taking oath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow, on March 19, 2017. (Photograph: ANI)
Yogi Adityanath taking oath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow, on March 19, 2017. (Photograph: ANI)

Born on June 5 1972, Adityanath was the youngest member of the 12th Lok Sabha at 26. He has been elected as an MP from Gorakhpur to the Lok Sabha in the 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections.

The 2007 elections saw a conflict between Adityanath and the BJP leadership - he wanted more than hundred seats in this region to go to candidates selected by him, but the party leadership would not agree.

Subsequently, a compromise agreement was reached, possibly with inputs from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and eight of his candidates were fielded.

In March 2010, Adityanath was one of several BJP MPs who started the defiance to the party whip on the Women's Reservation Bill.

Adityanath is the Mahant (head priest) of the Gorakhnath Mutt, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur, following the death of his spiritual "father," Mahant Avaidyanath in September 2014.

(With PTI inputs)