When grapevines from Lucknow to Delhi were overflowing with names of probable UP CM candidate’s not many were betting on Yogi Adityanath to emerge as final winner. Indeed as the fate would command, the saffron clad seer of Gorakhnath Peeth mutt today rules from the fifth floor of Bapu Bhawan or UP secretariat.
It goes without saying that appointing Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of a state that had maximum eyeballs during these elections and enjoys maximum share in RS and LS, must have been a very well-thought and articulate decision. A week long deliberations must have considered multiple factors before reaching to the decision of Yogi’s elevation.
To understand this phenomenon it is necessary to consider the factors behind this euphoric mandate as well as people’s expectations from the newly elected government. It wasn’t easy to fulfill multiple needs with one deed, however when going gets tough, tough get going!
Let us talk about several things that BJP and RSS aim to achieve through Yogi Adityanath’s appointment:
Caste neutrality: BJP has come to power in UP elections with a thumping majority that was unprecedented in recent decades. A state that has very deep roots of caste semantics and religious fundamentalism, witnessed an election where many such-lines was blurred. BJP in such scenario faces a herculean task of making a lot of people happy without offending anyone. Contrary to popular media perception a Yogi in fact carries no caste and is bound by no worldly barriers. Hence with a caste-neutral candidate at its helm and right choice of his subordinates, BJP has brought a perfect balance to Uttar Pradesh’s caste equation. Consolidation of caste centric votes as well as wide-spectrum acceptability could have been tough to achieve with any other candidate at this position.
2019 Loksabha Strategy: The heat of recent election is still dwindling and yet we are looking forward to the next major electoral battles. In a country as far stretched and populous as India, no given year passes without a major election in some state or other. Yet everyone reserves their best strategies and resources for the epic battle of Delhi durbar. If current political scenario is taken as a parameter, 2019 looks pretty easy for BJP yet no politician worth his salt would ever leave anything such big to chance. Yogi Adityanath will have around two years of work to show when 80 LS seats of UP goes to poll in 2019. He will be at the forefront to repeat the 2014 magic and with less things to worry about in UP, National leaders can have more time to campaign in other critical regions such as Bihar.
Mass Appeal: Yogi Adityanath has won five consecutive elections from Gorakhpur Loksabha constituency. His clout in the nearby regions needs no introduction. However the fan-fare, celebrations and jovial outbreaks that followed Yogi’s announcement for the biggest chair in the state speak volumes about his state-wide acceptance and popularity. From Ballia to Bareilly and Jhansi to Unnav, sweets were distributed and crackers burned. Yogi was very instrumental in 2014 and 2017 win. In run up to 2017 polls he himself did more than 150 rallies in different constituencies all across UP and was one of the most sought-after campaigners by the candidates. With this new post of incumbent CM his popularity will only rise through roof and would help BJP immensely in 2019 General Elections.
Unfazed Development: Prime Minister Modi is known for not shying away from tough decisions when it comes to his dream development agenda. Fitting well into the narrative, Yogi also carries a record of non-corruptible, poised and resilient administrator. In his previous capacity of an MP he enjoyed an envious connect with his voters and managed a full-proof discrepancy redressal mechanism. Popularly known as ‘Maharaj ki Chitthi’, problems ranging from medical assistance to lone waivers were all readdressed through an application given to Yogi or his appointees in Gorakhpur office. No caste asked, no religions mentioned and no person turned-away were the outlining principles of this celebrated Janta Durbar in Gorakhpur mutt. BJP seeks to replicate his similar administrative capabilities to the larger welfare of Uttar Pradesh population.
The RSS Angel: A saffron clad saint, a popular leader, strong ground connect and humble roots, RSS couldn’t have wished for anything more from an ideal candidate fit for this role. With a very long public life centered on a state, Yogi Adityanath knows Uttar Pradesh like the back of his hand. He understands priorities of people belonging to different regions of the state. Be it the migration and unemployment issues of Purvanchal, water crisis of Bundelkhand, women-safety and slaughterhouse issues of western UP, Yogi has never missed a regional touch during his back-to-back campaign rallies. RSS wants to showcase a balance of Hindutva and Development and is presenting Yogi as a test case to propaganda machineries who were trying to incite a saffron hatred. Also with this move they have given a new hope to millions of practicing Hindu’s who anxiously hope and pray for a constitutional solution to much delayed and needlessly complicated, Ram Mandir issue.
Second Gen Leader: With culmination of recent electoral battle, whole opposition has come crashing down like a pack of cards. There is no single face in whole of India who can challenge or posse any credible competition to Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi. Indeed visionary as he is, his job not only includes keeping his promises fulfilled as of now but to also ensure that this development doesn’t derails in next decade or two. With these things in mind, second generation leaders are already being given appropriate chances to have their tryst with the good governance and prove their worth.
Yogi Adityanath thus joins in the league of Devendra Fadnavis and Manohar Parrikar who in ten years from now might be commanding the highest office of the country after Modi decides to pass the baton.
To summarize it all CM Yogi Adityanath is what people of Uttar Pradesh, Cadre of BJP and influencers of RSS cumulatively desired and needed now. And if his initial days are any indictment of what Uttar Pradesh is going to prioritize for next five years, it would be more practical for Akhilesh and Mayawati to look for alternate career options now.