The ruling BJP and its supremo, PM Narendra Modi chose to appoint Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh , after almost a week of deliberations. This was a total surprise not only to Indians but also the International media.
Here are some of the perceptions of the International media:
The New York Times: “The choice of Yogi Adityanath—who has been repeatedly accused of stirring anti-Muslim sentiments—to lead Uttar Pradesh, came as a shock to many political observers here, who have become accustomed to the carefully moderated public positions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in line with his projected image as a pro-development leader and global statesman.”
The Guardian: “The argument that once in power the BJP would become more reasonable does not wash. There’s little sign India’s constitutional protections would enable the BJP to continue in power while the dynamics of its wider movement are kept in check. Mr Adityanath, now a powerful figure, is signalling that in India minorities exist merely on the goodwill of the majority. ”
The Economist: “The unusual choice has raised alarms, not least among Uttar Pradesh’s 40m-strong Muslim minority; the BJP won 312 of 403 seats in the state legislature without fielding a single Muslim candidate. Mr Adityanath, who has a long record of bigoted and inflammatory rhetoric, has named just one Muslim to his 43-person cabinet. Some analysts say Mr Modi chose a controversial sectarian as reward for his most ideological followers’ crucial grassroots help in the voting. Others say that with his prospects for re-election in 2019 strengthened by winning a state with 220m people, Mr Modi simply has less fear of revealing a darker Hindu-nationalist tint.”