On Saturday, Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath was chosen as to lead the Bharatiya Janata Party’s first government in Uttar Pradesh in 15 years. This follows the saffron party’s resounding victory in the recently-held assembly election in the politically crucial state. The firebrand leader, however, had his share of run-ins with the party, with him maintaining a distance from party activities and made it a point to skip party events in Delhi and Lucknow.
Back in 2007, Adityanath made headlines when he burst into tears in Parliament accusing the then UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav of targeting him. Adityanath had attended Lok Sabha after spending 11 days in jail for violating prohibitory orders in the communally sensitive eastern UP town, Gorakhpur. He began to weep while narrating his experience at the hands of the erstwhile state government. The then speaker subsequently promised to look into the matter.
His relation with the party began to improve after the BJP produced a poor show in the 2012 elections. Subsequently he responded by turning up at party events. The BJP cashed in on his pro-Hindutva image during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He was the only candidate, apart from Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh, to campaign for anyone other than himself during the polls.
He continued his vitriol in the 2017 assembly elections as well. Addressing his first ever press conference at the BJP state headquarters, Adityanath 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.