New Delhi, India – India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he had “shocked” the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by announcing the appointment of a member of the Bahujan Samaj Party to the National Advisory Council of the government.
Singh, who had been in power for more than a decade, said that Modi had decided to appoint Prasad Yadav, a former Gujarat chief minister, to the council as an expert on the Bali pandemic.
“This is the first time that a person of this type has been appointed,” Singh said at a press conference, adding that the new chief minister will be responsible for the management of the country’s response to the pandemic and for ensuring that the country is prepared for future events.
Yadav has been working as an adviser to the prime minister since last year.
India’s National Advisory Commission for the Emergency (NACEE) was created to oversee the country during the pandemics of 2002 and 2009.
It was appointed in October, and Yadav was appointed chairman of its advisory council.
Yadava, a Bahujani, has a reputation as a moderate in the party and a staunch defender of the state’s Hindu minority, particularly in the northeast and the north of India.
But he has also come under fire for his Hindu nationalism and has been criticized for his alleged use of inflammatory language and attacks on other religions.
He is widely seen as being a moderate on many of India’s most sensitive issues, including caste discrimination and the use of religious minorities in the army.
Yadamav said that he was not interested in politics and that he would remain a member in the Congress party.
“I am an independent person.
I am not interested to get involved in politics,” he said.
“But I will stay as a member and do my best to support the party.”
The prime minister did not say whether he would seek re-election, or if he was considering a third term.
The appointment of Yadav comes a day after India’s Supreme Court upheld the ban on the wearing of turbans by all people over the age of 18, and also ordered that those wearing the headscarf must be given permission to wear it outside the home.
Modi, who is known for his populist, nationalist rhetoric, said the ban would not be extended to people who do not adhere to any religion.
“People who don’t follow any religion should be able to wear turbans in public, but people who are not religious should not be allowed to wear any kind of headscarves.
This is the basic principle of freedom of religion,” he told reporters.
“It’s not about religion.
It’s about a fundamental principle.”
In a speech at a conference on Friday, Yadav also defended the government’s decision to ban the wearing or use of the niqab, which he said is a religious symbol that many Muslim women in the country wear.
“Women should not have to choose between their religious practices and their family,” he added.
India has seen a wave of religious violence, which has killed more than 4,000 people, mostly Muslims, since the start of the pandemaker.