The BJP today dismissed reports that the RSS had anything to do with the selection of hardliner Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and said it is unfair to criticise the decision without giving the Gorakhpur MP a "fair opportunity" to govern.
"The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) never interferes with the selection of chief ministers," Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said a day after Adityanath took over as the 21st Chief Minister of the state.
A number of the former or serving members of the RSS, which is the ideological fountainhead of the BJP, have been appointed Chief Ministers recently. Uttarakhand's Trivendra Singh Rawat is a former RSS pracharak, so is Maharashtra's Devendra Fadnavis and Haryana's Manohar Lal Khattar.
Naidu, who is the BJP's in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, also sought to allay the fears that Adityanath's image as a Hindutva poster boy will have a bearing on his work as the Chief Minister.
"It is very unfair to criticise Yogi Adityanath without giving him a fair opportunity," he said. "Yogi Adityanathji will care for all the sections of the people and will prove his critics wrong. He will become one of the most successful CMs ever," he added.
"The safety of the people is of prime importance. There will be zero tolerance towards crime," Adityanath's minister Shrikant Sharma said.
On Sunday, shortly after he took oath, Yogi Adityanath had pledged to work for all sections without bias and said he believed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan: 'sabka saath sabka vikas'.
Addressing his first press conference after taking oath, the controversial Gorakhpur MP also vowed to end the law and order problems in the sprawling and the country's most populous state.
In an apparent move to allay fears that he, as a long-time Hindutva icon, might discriminate against the minorities, Adityanath promised there would be no bias for or against anyone.