Firebrand Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath’s elevation as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘new India’, said AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, while taking a jibe at the saffron party’s decision.

Lashing out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Owaisi said that he was the least surprised by the decision. “This is an assault on India’s age-old “ganga jamuni tehzeeb”—a fusion of Hindu and Muslim cultures,” he reportedly said.

“This is PM Modi’s new India and isn’t surprising for me. The Samajwadi Party cheated the Muslims when it was in power. And now we will see a model of exclusivist development. This is the ‘vikas’ they talk about,” he added.

While Owaisi has criticised Adityanath, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari took a guarded approach, and said that he hopes that Adityanath will shed his controversial past and will work towards betterment of all the communities.

Adityanath is known for his provocative speeches and mass following across the state and never shies away from making controversial remarks, be it about Islam or Pakistan.

Right from comparing Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to Hafiz Saeed during the intolerance debate in 2015 to asking people to leave India if they don’t practice ‘Surya Namaskar’ in 2015, the Yogi has been at the centre of several controversies. However, one thing that cannot be ignored is that after becoming the CM designate, Adityanath spelled out his priorities to the state administration and issued clear instructions to ensure public order across the state and that it should not be disturbed in the name of celebrations.

The CM designate is also learnt to have cited a recent case that took place in Bareilly where some people tried to paint slogans and allegedly tried to hoist a flag atop a place of worship leading to tension. He directed officials that steps should be taken to prevent any repeat of such event.