Uttar Pradesh CM designate Yogi Adityanath: Science graduate, cow campaigner, fighting cases, controversies

The ice between Adityanath and the BJP started melting after the party’s poor showing in 2012 elections.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Updated: March 19, 2017 10:39 am
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From supporting candidates against official BJP nominees to staying away from party events even while being MP, Yogi Adityanath, the BJP’s pick for the post of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has always set the terms for his engagement with the party. In his eastern UP constituency of Gorakhpur, it is said that Yogi doesn’t need the BJP’s support to win elections; it’s the party that needs him. The ‘Hindu Hridya Samrat’, as his supporters call him, is a science graduate from Garhwal University in Uttarakhand. He credits his political grooming to his mentor, former BJP MP Mahant Avaidyanath, who took him under his wings and announced that Adityanath would succeed him as head of Gorakhnath Mandir in Gorakhpur. That was on February 15, 1994, and Yogi was then 22.

READ | For Uttar Pradesh, BJP has a new spelling for vikas: Yogi Adityanath

Born in Panchur area of Garhwal district of present day Uttarakhand in 1972 – only the the fourth UP CM after GB Pant, HN Bahuguna and ND Tewari to be born in Uttarakhand – Adityanath had, in his affidavit for the 2014 Lok Sabha election, written Mahant Avaidyanath’s name in the column for father’s name.

After being associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) during his university days, Adityanath entered mainstream politics in 1998 when his guru, Avaidyanath, vacated his parliamentary seat for him. He would go on to win five consecutive elections from Gorakhpur – from 1998 to 2014

Adityanath had in March 2007 burst into tears in Parliament when he began describing the “political conspiracy’’ that led to his arrest in Gorakhpur. The BJP MP had spent 11 days in detention after being arrested in January for violating prohibitory orders in the communally sensitive eastern Uttar Pradesh town.

While his firebrand talk and rising Hindutva image suited the BJP well, the party and Adidyanath often found themselves on the wrong side of each other. While Adityanath himself contests elections on the BJP’s symbol, he has always maintained a distance from party activities and made it a point to skip party events in Delhi and Lucknow.

Sources in the party confirmed that when Rajnath Singh came to Gorakhpur in November 2011 during his Sadbhawana yatra, he did not even invite Adityanath.

In the 2012 Assembly elections, upset that the BJP had denied tickets to names recommended by Adityanath, the Hindu Yuva Vahini, founded by Adityanath in 2002, fielded candidates against BJP’s nominees on several seats. This election too, the Vahini had unofficially declared that it would field candidates, but Adityanath has distanced himself from them and sacked the state president of the Vahini, Sunil Singh.

In 2012, he openly opposed the induction of former BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha into the BJP and even declared that he would not campaign for BJP candidates in the elections.

Earlier, in 2002, he had supported Radhamohan Das Agarwal as nominee of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) from Gorakhpur Assembly seat against BJP’s Shiv Pratap Shukla. Agarwal, who won that election, later joined the BJP and he is presently MLA from Gorakhpur Urban and is in the race for a ministerial berth.

The ice between Adityanath and the BJP started melting after the party’s poor showing in 2012 elections. He responded by turning up at party events.

But it wasn’t until the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that the BJP cashed in on his pro-Hindutva image. The party gave him a helicopter to campaign in the Muslim-dominated districts of eastern UP such as Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Mau, Azamgarh, Ambedkar Nagar etc and also in Kanpur. Apart from Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh, Adityanath was the only candidate to campaign for anyone other than himself during the polls.

In by-elections to 11 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat (Mainpuri) the same year, the the party handed him the reins of the party’s campaign in the state. The BJP won four of the Assembly seats and lost the LS seat. Almost all the BJP candidates had then demanded public meetings of Adityanath in the hope that his presence would consolidate Hindus (across castelines) for the BJP. In one of those public meetings that he addressed, Adityanath had only a BJP-ruled government could bring a stop to ‘love jihad’.

His vitriol was in full flow in the 2017 elections too, with Adityanath now the BJP’s star campaigner. On February 7, he addressed his first ever press conference at the BJP state headquarters. There, he had said that the exodus of people from western UP was an issue in the state and that UP could turn into Kashmir if Samajwadi Party remained in power. Adityanath said he would raise these issues after the elections too.

Adityanath, who is considered close to party veteran L K Advani, is held in high regard in the current BJP setup too. At a rally in Gorakhpur in January 2014, Modi had praised Adityanath and called him a popular and jujharu (hardworking) member of Parliament.

As MP, Adityanath regularly raises the issue of Japanese Encephalitis that claims the lives of hundreds of children in eastern UP every year. At the Gorakhnath Mandir, religious discourse and bhajans are said to be his favourite pastime, besides campaigning for cow-protection and ‘national security’ through his ‘Rashtra Raksha abhiyan.’ He is also on the management committees of more than two dozens education institutions.

Such was his clout in Gorakhpur that until about two years ago, Yogi’s supporters wouldn’t display the registration numbers on their vehicles, instead, their number plates read ‘Yogi Sevak’. Sources said the practice had continued for several years.

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  1. P
    Prashant
    Mar 19, 2017 at 6:25 am
    He is incapable of winning even 50 seats in UP mla elections held in past despite being 5 times MP,,,,,,today BJP got 300 seats bcs of Narendra Modi and development agenda,,,,Now time will tell how much they will deliver on it,,,,,,,,Yogi personality is more or less similar to Modi,,,Modi bcm PM bcs he did commendable work in Gujrat ,,,,,Now let's see how much is capable of.........
    Reply
    1. I
      Ikok
      Mar 19, 2017 at 7:06 am
      Lets hope UP does'nt become Gujrat
      Reply
      1. B
        bonku
        Mar 19, 2017 at 5:33 am
        Modi's replacement among bhakts has arrived.... Good luck for India..... Lets see how Hindu Gods and Lord Modi can rescue India, sorry Bharat, now :(
        Reply
        1. R
          Raman Ravi
          Mar 19, 2017 at 5:30 am
          Selection of Yogi Adityanath is a masterstroke of wily narendra Modi. His priorities are clear for 2019 election. He knows only majority votes can give him the clear mandate. One of the best decision of Modi. Only fear is that Yogi Adityanath may overshadow him in near future with pority quotient. He is a true blue Hindi heartland leader, not like Modi, a Gujarati bred n Gujarati speaking leader. He is a PM material.
          Reply
          1. R
            Raman Ravi
            Mar 19, 2017 at 6:08 am
            Vishal miann, where from you glean this information? It's untrue n total lie. Don't spew venom n denigrate muslims.
            Reply
            1. M
              MyTake
              Mar 19, 2017 at 5:16 am
              Only Uniform Civil Code is the answer!
              Reply
              1. M
                MyTake
                Mar 19, 2017 at 5:18 am
                Time has come for BJP to go aggressive about Uniform Civil Code see how these sickulars disappearing from the scene.
                Reply
                1. M
                  MyTake
                  Mar 19, 2017 at 5:38 am
                  Yogi Adityanath's test will be to see how communal fights can be brought to a stop in a short period of time.lt;br/gt;Test of the pudding in its eating.
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Ram
                    Mar 19, 2017 at 8:14 am
                    The upper echelons of terror in India are dumbfounded with yogibhai's nomination.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      SubbuI
                      Mar 19, 2017 at 8:03 am
                      NALAYAK NMODI WELL PLANNED " NEW INDIA"lt;br/gt;BUTCHER OF GUJATARH -THE EMPOROR lt;br/gt;ENCOUNTER CRIMINAL- THE HENCHMEN AND ARCHTECT lt;br/gt;KHATTER-ARMY GENERALSlt;br/gt;VIREN SINGH- -Do-lt;br/gt;YOGI ADITYA NATH- -DO-lt;br/gt;PARIKKER- -DO-lt;br/gt;NAGPUR- FUTURE CAPITAL OF NEW INDIAlt;br/gt;RSS SAN CHALAK -RAJGURU( PRESENLY SRI BAGAWATH)lt;br/gt;ToTAL SAMPOORNA HINDU RASHTRA -THE AKANDA BHARATH
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Amit
                        Mar 19, 2017 at 2:08 am
                        Fking Express
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Amit
                          Mar 19, 2017 at 2:12 am
                          Indian Express was betting on Pappu and Akhilesh and Azam Khan team but they lost so now usual chest-thumoing
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Amit
                            Mar 19, 2017 at 2:10 am
                            Stop the nuisance being created day and night 4 times a day by the loud speakers on every mosq ues in UP which have multiplied thousands of times during na majwadi rule.
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              Bimmi Singh
                              Mar 19, 2017 at 6:47 am
                              We have seen in Punjab how pm used to raise the concerned of radicals coming to power. Now same man installed dangerous Hindu radical without shame. This is pure double standard
                              Reply
                              1. B
                                Bimmi Singh
                                Mar 19, 2017 at 7:43 am
                                Fake encounters and jailing innocent. Fear full environment!
                                Reply
                                1. B
                                  Bimmi Singh
                                  Mar 19, 2017 at 5:25 am
                                  I fail to understand why Hindu Radical, who spew venom against Muslims throughout his life has been given top post. What moralities we now have to say to stan and Bangladesh to check out and restrict radicals there. How Bangladesh will now justify the ban of Peace TV and Zakir Naik? This step will radicalize all people, big rift will be created among communities.
                                  Reply
                                  1. B
                                    Bimmi Singh
                                    Mar 19, 2017 at 5:27 am
                                    Including Nagaland Manipur AP, Goa and JK.
                                    Reply
                                    1. B
                                      Bimmi Singh
                                      Mar 19, 2017 at 7:16 am
                                      Now Dalits are awakened, they will not be used by Brahmins to attack Muslims, like in Gujarat.
                                      Reply
                                      1. V
                                        vijay
                                        Mar 19, 2017 at 4:39 am
                                        well most of the congress high command are out on bail. Indian express is having selective amnesia.
                                        Reply
                                        1. T
                                          Tushar
                                          Mar 19, 2017 at 9:48 am
                                          Do u guys have any thing new to say other than Burnol ,jihadi,porkistan ,and sickulars. lt;br/gt; Glad to see the IT cell created words are a cliche now .done and dusted ..
                                          Reply
                                          1. T
                                            Tushar
                                            Mar 19, 2017 at 10:12 am
                                            Say some.thing new my dear ....And come.out of dream.land .....this country I'll be bak.to the old peaceful status in ,2019.../ democracy will b reformed
                                            Reply
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