Yogi Adityanath, the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, made a farewell speech yesterday in parliament, where he has been a member since 1998. While praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi effusively, he slipped in a dig at Rahul Gandhi, who was not in the house.
"I am a year younger than Rahul Gandhi and a year older than Akhilesh Yadav. I came between their jodi (alliance). That is why they failed in UP," the saffron-robed politician quipped in the Lok Sabha.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, not about to let a jibe at his party vice president pass without a rebuttal, said, "I congratulate you for coming to power, I urge you to uphold the propriety of your chair."
Two days after taking over as Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath walked into the Lok Sabha in the middle of a debate to cheers of "Jai Sri Ram" and "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and loud desk-thumping from members of the ruling BJP. On his request, his name was added to the list of speakers.
"When I came to this house for the first time, I was 26 and skinny," he shared, drawing laughter and an interjection from Speaker Sumitra Mahajan: "You are not that fat even now..."
In what was largely thanksgiving after being assigned charge of India's biggest and most important state, Yogi Adityanath pledged to follow PM Modi's model of development in UP.
Promising a "corruption-free, incident-free" state of the PM's dreams, Adityanath said, "You are all welcome to UP."
Yogi Adityanath, a five-time MP, was named chief minister in a surprise move by the BJP after it scored a massive victory in the Uttar Pradesh election. His meetings with leaders in Delhi featured consultations on the allocation of ministries.