A five-time lawmaker, the saffron-robed priest of the Gorakhnath temple in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur district was elevated as Chief Minister last month by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the BJP's spectacular victory in the assembly elections. It is a choice that surprised many.
Eminent jurist Fali Nariman had asked if the appointment "is the beginning of a Hindu state". In an interview to public broadcaster Doordarshan, Yogi Adityanath - who had recently attributed "misconceptions" about him to his saffron robe - was asked about concerns expressed by some such as Mr Nariman.
The Chief Minister started out, by pointing that he could not silence anyone and would continue to work for state's interest. He called PM Modi's government at the Centre his inspiration, pointing that he had to implement in the state, the measures that were being rolled out at a national level by PM Modi.
The Supreme Court verdict come in 1995 on a petition by Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi against the high court verdict setting aside his election where he had promised to turn Maharashtra into India's first Hindu state.
A three-judge bench of the court had ruled that Mr Joshi's appeal for votes did not amount to campaigning on grounds of religion, and Hindutva was a way of life. He became Chief Minister in 1995. Last year, a larger bench of the court has started hearings to revisit the two-decade old judgment.
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