Soon after taking over as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath is trying to fit into the larger pro-development clean politics narrative of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a bid to move away from religious tonality in administration. There are two choices for Adityanath – either to be the nail that sticks out and risk hurting the party, RSS or the PM’s image or go with the development and anti-corruption narrative. Don’t expect a change of heart so soon. It’s early days and the UP CM’s record betrays his sudden vocal support to “sabka saath sabka vikas” model of the BJP.
Interestingly, the brief given by Adityanath to his ministers is to adapt the style of governance employed at the Centre by Prime Minister Narendra Modi where the PM works 18 hours a day to “correct the mistakes of previous governments”.
CM Adityanath took oath of office and then directed his ministers to disclose details of the sources of income, movable and immovable assets to the Chief Minister’s Secretary and the party within 15 days. He promised that his government will work on the “sabka saath sabka vikas” (inclusive development) model and all promises in the Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra – BJP’s election manifesto for 2017 UP Assembly polls – would be fulfilled.
What would come as a surprise to many, Adityanath promised his government would be ‘sensitive’ and answerable in relation to induction of Muslim leader Mohsin Raza and Sikh leader Baldev Aulakh in his council of ministers. It is to remember, the manifesto included promises like anti-Romeo squads, women battalions. It also said law will be followed to get the temple built as soon as possible, but that’s another matter. It looks the party will keep the issue burning to raise it again in 2019.
Party leaders have said that the CM’s move for asking asset disclosure is in consistence with the PM’s anti-corruption drive and it seems the party is trying to portray a coherence between Adityanath and PM Modi’s working relationship. Questions were raised on Adityanath’s appointment with some alleging RSS steamrolled the PM to appoint him as UP CM.
The consolidation of votes in UP is done now and Adityanath was probably the most shrewd choice for the top post in the state government. But, his every action will be scrutinised because of the hate speeches made in the past. So, it seems for now the party, his supporters and and other pro-Hindutva leaders would be happy if the UP CM acts as a strong partner to the PM rather than a challenger to his authority in building a political narrative.