International Yoga Day 2017: PM Modi in Lucknow – Why it is politically important for BJP

International Yoga Day 2017: The Prime Minister's participation in Aishbagh Ramlila on Dussehra last year was seen as a step in that direction and now International Yoga Day offers a similar opportunity.

Written by RAMENDRA SINGH | Lucknow | Updated: June 21, 2017 9:41 am
International Yoga Day 2017, Narendra Modi, Reading Day, PN Pannicker PM Narendra Modi in Lucknow. ANI photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s yoga session with over 50,000 people at the Ramabai Rally Ground in Lucknow early Wednesday morning on the occasion of International Day of Yoga will be his first public event in the Uttar Pradesh capital after the formation of a BJP-led government in the state three months ago.

UP played a crucial role in the victory of the BJP-led NDA government at Centre in 2014, and the election of a BJP-led government with an overwhelming majority in the state this March leaves the party facing the daunting task of keeping its support base intact till the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. BJP governments in the state as well as at the Centre pose the risk of anti-incumbency feelings towards the party in the next two years.

As development projects take time to materialise, keeping in touch with the electorate and popularising the party ideology remain key objectives to retain mass support. With dozens of rallies and public appearances in the last three years, the PM has tried to keep the lines of communication open between him and the public.

More than anything else, the party needs to promote its ideology. The appointment of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister helped the party’s campaign to popularise Hindutva. The Prime Minister’s participation in Aishbagh Ramlila on Dussehra last year was seen as a step in that direction and now International Yoga Day offers a similar opportunity. Previous governments in the state led by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav had avoided associating themselves with yoga.

In contrast, the UP government is now highlighting Wednesday’s event as a matter of pride for the state and Modi as someone who has brought global recognition to the country through yoga.

Modi will reach Lucknow on Tuesday afternoon and attend two programmes at the Central Drug Research Institute and APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University. Later in the evening, he is expected to dine at 5 Kalidas Marg, the residence of the chief minister. Other than a brief appearance at Adityanath’s swearing-in ceremony in March, Modi has not visited Lucknow since Adityanath became the face of BJP in the state.

Modi’s visit is also being seen as an on the spot stock-taking of Adityanath’s government which has faced a number of issues since then, the Thakur-Dalit violence in Saharanpur being the most worrying for the party. With its success in the last two elections linked largely to the expansion of its support base to social groups beyond its traditional vote bank among upper castes, such frictions have the potential to dent it politically.

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  1. K
    Kapil Sutra
    Jun 20, 2017 at 10:43 pm
    Cynics know the price of everything and value of nothing - Oscar Willde
    Reply
  2. S
    Selvan
    Jun 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm
    You please sit with farmers One Day PM. Don't go to yoga. There are so many other important things a PM should do.
    Reply
  3. B
    Barb Dewyre
    Jun 20, 2017 at 7:32 pm
    The only asana Modi needs to do is the one that increases the blood flow to his brain. He seems to forget that he opposed many of UPA's schemes vehemently when he was Gujarat's Chief Minister- MNREGA, GST, Adhar.... he is a megalomaniac who can't see beyond his own nose.
    Reply
  4. J
    Javaid
    Jun 20, 2017 at 7:22 pm
    Narendra Modi virat kholi ka L apne moo main le lo tum tumheri Team bht acha khelti hai na nikalgai sari akar aby tum sirf paiso pay jeet sakte ho. Pakistan Zindabad
    Reply
  5. S
    Sameer Das
    Jun 20, 2017 at 7:14 pm
    Everyone is aware of the benefits of yoga. Does not require vehement publicity.
    Reply
  6. T
    TIHAEwale
    Jun 20, 2017 at 6:49 pm
    so it is Tadipaar Amit who has realised that as development projects take time to materialise, keeping in touch with the electorate and popularising the party ideology remain key objectives to retain mass support and Yoga day is chosen by Feku56 to continue with gas balloons.
    Reply
  7. M
    mimi sur
    Jun 20, 2017 at 6:35 pm
    It's important for us because it is part of Indian and Hindu culture. It will help us to spread Hindu culture and values in the world . Being a staunch Hindu, PM Modi is the icon of Hindus . It has no political significance . IE sees politics in everything . BTW what happened to Gaza street incident in Left-ruled Kerala ? Any updates ...
    Reply
  8. A
    Ag
    Jun 20, 2017 at 5:03 pm
    70 of poor people of India have no food or little food no clean water, beggars. Rape, corruption, middle and lower people are struggling , murder, loot and all sorts of crime are increasing and this sense less PM are after yoga will hungry people will be give n food or shelter free medical or just do yoga ant dung and drink mutr
    Reply
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