LUCKNOW: In a stunning turn of events, Firebrand BJP MP Yogi Adityanath has emerged as the front runner in Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's race. According to sources, the Gorakhpur MP is likely to be the head the new UP government with Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma as his deputies.
The new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh along with his Cabinet colleagues will take oath on March 19 at Kanshiram Smriti Upvan.
Adityanath, who heads a large number of religious and charitable bodies functioning under the name of Guru Gorakhnath, has campaigned heavily during elections.
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Construction of the Ram temple was not in the BJP's manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls but Yogi Adityanath made it clear during elections campaigning that a saffron government in Lucknow will pave the way for it.
Before elections, he was said to be miffed with the party's top brass after he was denied a final say in the selection of candidates in a number of seats, prompting some of his loyalists in Hindu Yuva Vahini to go out against the party. Aditynath is the Hindu organisation's founder. He has sacked them and consistently rejected reports of his unhappiness with the party.
Driven by the Modi wave, the BJP had stormed to power in Uttar Pradesh after 14 years, securing three-fourths majority and demolishing rivals SP- Congress and BSP in a keenly-contested Assembly polls.
Showing astonishing performance, the BJP got 312 seats in the 403-member Assembly. Its allies Apna Dal(S) and SBSP bagged nine seats and four seats, respectively, taking the total tally of the combine to 325.
On the other hand, the SP won 47 seats while its ally the Congress got 7 seats. The BSP won just 19 seats, finishing a dismal third.