Lucknow: With the appointment of BJP’s most controversial leader Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, all speculations and suspense were finally put to rest.
The decision was taken after a meeting at Lok Bhawan that saw central observers – Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, BJP vice-president Om Mathur, state party chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and other senior party leaders in full attendance. Adityanath’s name was proposed by BJP leader Suresh Khanna and was supported by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
Known for his firebrand Hindutva image, the 44-year-old BJP leader comes from the Rajput community and is the head of the Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur, which has millions of followers from eastern UP and neighbouring Nepal. He has been elected as the Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur uninterrupted from 1998. A science graduate, Adityanath is popular for his fiery speeches among his supporters.
Adityanath’s elevation can strengthen BJP’s ‘Hindutva’ establishment in the state, but may provide enough fodder to the opposition to attack the saffron party on lines of ‘divisive politics’. BJP state chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma will be Adityanath’s deputies.
Let us go through some startling facts about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice Yogi Adityanath as UP CM:
1) A long-time BJP MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath is also the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple in the eastern UP city. Adityanath has been winning the Gorakhpur seat in UP since 1998; at 26, he was the youngest MP in the 12th Lok Sabha.
2) The fifth-term Lok Sabha member is the mascot of the party’s Hindutva-wrapped agenda of development.
3) The firebrand leader, known for his clout in east UP districts surrounding Gorakhpur, Adityanath was the second most sought-after campaigner in the state in the assembly elections after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
4) In 2002, Yogi Adityanath founded the Hindu Yuva Vahini. Labelled a socio-cultural outfit, its volunteers were known to use strong-arm tactics in riots, cow-protection drives and to stop ‘love jihad’. HYV has its presence across Gorakhpur, Mau, Deoria, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar and Siddharthnagar.
5) Adityanath’s original name was Ajay Singh Bisht. He has done BSc in Maths from HNB Garhwal University. A very popular leader in UP, he is known for his ability to attract eyeballs with his fiery speech.
“The new Chief Minister along with his Cabinet colleagues will take oath on March 19 at 2:15 pm at Kanshiram Smriti Upvan,” Governor Ram Naik said in a statement yesterday.
The BJP had secured 312 seats in a 403-member house, while its allies Apna Dal (Soneylal) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party got nine and four seats respectively.