Lucknow: Putting all speculations to rest, the BJP has appointed its firebrand leader, Yogi Adityanath, as the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. His appointment seems to be a clear indication that the Party wants to continue with its extreme political ideology.
During the just concluded election, the saffron party used its polarization tactics to the hilt, and in the process won an overwhelming majority in the state. Out of 405 seats in the state assembly, the BJP has 325 MLAs, including a few from its minor allies.
The Party seems to have realized that the development plank doesn’t sell well in the market as the saffron party hasn’t been able to showcase much on this front during the last three years in power at the center. It knows that polarization helps and so it resorted to polarization efforts to the hilt and won overwhelming support from the upper castes and other backward groups that supported the BJP agenda.
The anointment of Yogi Adityanath means that the party is in election mode and will like to prepare for the next parliamentary election 2017. It has foreseen the efforts of secular parties to forge an alliance for the parliamentary elections 2019 on the pattern of Bihar mahagathbandhan and has realized that no one can take on these parties except a person like Yogi Adityanath.
The 44 Yogi Adiyanath is the Mahant or the chief priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur. He is a five time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur. Besides he is the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, an extremist group that believes in intimidation and creating fear among Muslims and other religious communities in the country.
Like Hindu priests of leading temples, Adityanath comes from an upper caste Garhwali Rajput family. He is a bachelor of mathematics (BSC) from Garhwal University.
The priest of Gorakhnath temple became the youngest member of the Parliament when he won the Parliamentary election in 1998 from Gorakhpur at the young age of just 26. Since then he has been elected to the Parliament five times. A firebrand speaker, Adityanath is the successor to another leader with extreme views. He succeeded Mahant Avaidyanath at the Gorakhnath temple.
Yogi has his massive support base in Eastern UP where his temple is based. For many right-wingers he is Hindu Hriday Samrat. A right leaning website has this to say about him, “Yogi Adityanath could have lived a life of comfort, but he chose to take the road less travelled and dedicated his life to help those in need. As an MP, who is primarily a people’s representative, he has worked for resolving various issues related to education, health, farming, housing, infrastructure, and basic necessities such as electricity and water. In his role as a spiritual leader, he has worked towards curbing the rise of Jihadi fundamentalism, religious conversions influenced by monetary gains, Maoist violence, and cow slaughter”.
There is no dearth of evidence for being anti-minority. In March 2011, the documentary film Saffron War – Radicalization of Hinduism accused Adityanath of promoting communal disharmony through a Virat Hindustan rally in rural Uttar Pradesh. Adityanath shared the stage during a hate speech in which an unidentified speaker urged the Hindu audience to dig up the graves of Muslim women and rape the corpses.
In the wake of opposition against Yoga Day being made compulsory, according to The Hindu, Adityanath said those who want to avoid Yoga can “leave Hindustan”. He further said that those people opposing ‘Surya Namaskar’ should drown themselves in the sea. Gorakhpur riots of 2007 were reportedly ignited by his fiery speech. Minorities were attacked, their properties and places of worship burned.