Lucknow: Well-known as a torchbearer of Hindutva and firebrand leader, chief minister Aditya Nath is also an animal and nature lover.
While his love for cows is well known, he is also a pet lover and has a number of animals on the Gorakhnath temple premises, including a dog, a cat, some monkeys and a deer.
His dog named Kallu can be seen roaming on the temple premises all day long. Aditya Nath loves to spend time with Kallu after completing his daily chores and political meetings.
A group of monkeys has made the temple premises their home. Early morning everyday, Yogi feeds the monkeys.
Recently a photo of Yogi feeding milk to a tiger cub and carrying a snake went viral on social media.
His aides in the Gorakhnath temple said the cub was found roaming near an ashram in Tulsipur, in Balrampur district, near India-Nepal border. The cub was kept in the ashram for a few months and later handed over to the forest department for rehabilitation. Aditya Nath used to feed milk to the cub with a bottle whenever he visited the ashram, they said.
He used to also feed the deer and antelopes that roamed around the ashram near Tuthibari in Maharajganj district. The ashram is sandwiched between Sohagibarwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Maharajganj and Chitwan National Park in Nepal.The Gorakhnath Temple Trust has also set up an ashram in Nawal Parasi district across the border in Nepal. Aditya Nath sometimes visited the ashram and spent his day among the wildlife.
In the late nineties, the UP CM launched a movement against the poachers who were active in the forest area of Nepal and UP. On many occasions he met the representatives of Tharu and Vantongiyas tribals, settled in the bordering districts of Balrampur, Lakhimpur, Siddharthnagar and Maharajganj, and urged them to launch a movement against poachers.
His ardent love for trees has turned the Gorakhnath temple into an oasis in the concrete jungle. His supporters call him a ‘green saint’ who has planted a number of saplings of peepal, mango, banyan and Ashoka around the residential complex located on the temple premises.
Aditya Nath has also planted a number of aromatic and medicinal plants in the area between the ‘muth’ and the cowshed.
Dwarka Prasad, who runs merchandise shop near the temple premises, said the chief minister holds meetings with the people under a tree.