THE BJP’S move to name Yogi Adityanath as the UP chief minister has surprised most and disappointed some.
The party went on to officially downplay Adityanath’s hardliner image. “Yogiji will soon become the face of development. If one leader gets elected continuously for six times, he has obviously done something… He has been a fighter for the people and has been raising voice for their demands,’’ BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav told The Sunday Express.
He argued that Adityanath’s election had proved that the BJP’s priority was improving law and order situation. “We are sure that the law and order situation would improve now.’’
BJP MLA from UP, Sidharth Nath Singh, blamed media for Adityanath’s image. “That image may be with media but he has been elected again and again. He stands for development and that is the agenda we have got and we will will stick to the agenda.’’ He noted that Adityanath was elected “democratically and unanimously”.
Another BJP secretary general pointed out that the BJP cadre will be happy. “Yogiji, being an honest person and someone committed to his ideology, would prove the sceptics wrong. One should not forget that lot of people had reservations against (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji also.’’
Some leaders said that Adityanath’s elevation went against the verdict BJP received and contradicted “the spirit of Modi’s message” last week in which he said that the government will be of everyone. BJP chief Amit Shah had projected the party’s victory in Uttar Pradesh as the defeat of caste and dynasty politics, while Modi had promised that the BJP government will be for “those who voted for it and also for those who did not’’.
A party leader claimed that the party had won the polls on Hindutva appeal. “Whatever one might say, it was a vote for Hindutva. We had not fielded a single Muslim candidate. From the day Modiji made the Shamshaan-Kabristan remark, it was clear that the BJP would win on Hindu votes.’’
A party MP said that the win proved a huge number of scheduled castes and extremely backward communities had supported the BJP. “But the choice of leadership (Adityanath and two deputy chief ministers) has not reflected that,” he said. “This means that while the voters have risen above caste divides, the party has not,” the Lok Sabha MP said.
“They voted for Vikas, but we are still on Hindutva.’’ He said Adityanath’s elevation could be an attempt to keep hardliners happy. “With the BJP being in power at the Centre and in the state with full majority, there will be demands for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. In appointing Yogi at the helm of affairs, these hardliners will be satisfied.”
A BJP Rajya Sabha MP, who did not hide his disappointment, said Adityanath’s election had “shocked” him. “I do not know what will he deliver once the hype is down.’’