Can Yogi Adityanath Succeed Where Sadhvi Uma Bharati Failed?

Lucknow: Anointing Yogi Adityanath, head of Gorakhpur Matt, as chief minister of the most populous state in the country, Uttar Pradesh, has given rise to endless bitter arguments.

It is a clear case of the RSS having its way. Yogi Adityanath was said to have been unanimously selected/ elected by 325 newly elected MLAs of the BJP and its allies. Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu took the opinions of the new lawmakers and announced the name of the new CM and two deputy chief ministers after having a word with Party president Amit Shah on Saturday evening. It is public knowledge that what happened at Lok Bhavan, the venue of the meeting, was just a formality and the decision to hand over the reins of UP to the yogi was taken at the highest level involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat.

The style in which the yogi was picked up by the BJP is on the lines of the sealed cover method used by the Congress high command. Indira Gandhi used to send high command emissaries like Uma Shankar Dikshit, Shankar Dayal Sharma, ND Tiwari and Ghulam Nabi Azad. Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Sonia Gandhi followed the same method. BJP has sent observers from Delhi to Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur where it formed governments. Gadkari did the trick in Panaji and got Manohar Parrikar the chief minister’s chair.

By going for the yogi, the BJP has yielded to the pressure from the core Hindutva plank. The fact that not a single Muslim candidate was fielded by the BJP in the recently concluded though a large number of Muslims, particularly the women, had reportedly voted for the party. The idea appears to be to consolidate Hindu vote by refusing to look at the Muslim community. The party appears to have hugely succeeded in its tactics to bring the people of upper or general castes, including Brahmins, Bania, Thakurs and Bhumihars, who comprise some 20 percent of UP population, to its side. While keeping the general castes in its fold, the BJP has won over the non-OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits. It was that magic by Amit Shah that gave the BJP a landslide win. The party wishes to keep this umbrella coalition of castes intact for the 2019 parliamentary elections.

It is to be seen if a Sanyasi can succeed as a ruler. Uma Bharati, a Sadhvi, and a popular figure in Bundelkhand, was not very successful as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Would Yogi Adityanath prove to different and utilise the opportunity to prove to be a good administrator and a statesman like Narendra Modi did. Like Modi, Yogi also was very keen on becoming a CM. Yogi refused Midi’s offer to make him Minister of State with his eyes firmly focused on Lucknow throne.

Some one has to tell the new chief minister about Raj Dharma, the dharma that Atal Behari Vajpayee tried to inculcate in Narendra Modi in the wake of post-Godhra communal rites fifteen years ago.

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