BJP won a monumental mandate in just concluded elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). And the only question on the mind of every political analyst and every person on the street of India was “Who will be the Chief Minister of UP?” Will Modi-Shah duo opt for political lightweight like State BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, so that the government can be remote controlled from Delhi, or the choice will be a political heavyweight like current Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh and give him a free hand with a set agenda. There were others in the contention too but their chances of getting the chair of CM were minimalistic. However, in the end Modi and Amit Shah trumped everyone by declaring Yogi Adityanath, the poster boy of Hardcore Hindutva, as their choice for the post of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Yogi Adityanath as CM has its fair share of controversies because of his image as a Hindutva Firebrand and his polarizing and radical views on the creation of Hindu Rashtra. As soon as his name was announced, almost every political party in the country took on to social media and lambasted BJP leadership for sowing the seeds of religious disharmony in the state. BJP was charged with succumbing to the pressure of RSS and carrying forward their Hindutva agenda. Allegations were leveled against Modi and Amit Shah that they are playing the politics of polarization in order to garner votes for their party in the next general elections. Even before the formation of government in the state it was alleged that minorities are in for difficult times in the next five years.
But is that really the case? After scoring such an extraordinary victory, would Modi succumb to any pressure? Would he hand over his hard fought prize to a leader known for his skirmishes with the BJP leadership in the past and with an attitude which has lead to many revolts against his own party? Would Modi risk his image of a man of development just to appease RSS? And most importantly would Modi risk his political future and chance to regain the power in 2019, just to push the Hindutva agenda in the country?
It is crystal clear from the victory speech given by Modi at the BJP headquarters after the monumental win in Uttar Pradesh, that he has already set his plan for 2019 general elections in motion. When he talks about bringing about the major changes in the country by 2022, the 75th year of our nation’s independence, it becomes absolutely clear that he wants to be there at the helm when those changes happen. Uttar Pradesh being the state with the largest number of seats in the country plays a very important role in deciding who would form the next government at the centre. And I believe it was a two step process for the BJP after their win in 2014. The first step was to win the elections in UP so that when the next general elections happen, BJP is ruling the state and second step is to ensure the repeat of 2014 results in the next general elections.
Now that the first feat has been achieved successfully, Modi needed to ensure that the reigns of UP are given in the hands of a leader who can ensure his victory in 2019 elections. Since BJP would be the incumbent party in both the center and the state at the time of next general elections, it cannot use governance as an agenda in the campaign. Therefore, they need to ensure that there are big bang reforms both at the center and in the state in the next two and a half years. This is not a mean feat to achieve. A state as big as UP with a history of either corrupt or lawless governments in the last 15 years, would need a man of strong will and unflinching resolve, to bring about a change that is noticed by the people.
And I believe; that Yogi Adityanath is the man for the job. When I look at him, I see an image of Narendra Modi, when he became the Chief Minister of Gujrat. There are stark similarities in the characters of both the leaders. Both are poster boys of Hindutva, (although Modi has crossed over to being the poster boy of development after his stint as a Gujrat CM and then as Prime Minister of India.) Both of them follow an austere lifestyle. Both are known to be firebrand orators. Both have never lost an election in their political careers. Both the leaders are not afraid to even take on the leadership of their own party or political ideologue for what they believe is right. Both are lone wolfs with no families or friends trying to become extra-constitutional authorities. Both of them are not afraid of flaunting their allegiance to the right wing school of thought. Both are workaholics who like to squeeze maximum time in the day to work for the people whom they represent.
Therefore, it can be said that Modi may have seen himself in Yogi Adityanath and hence trusted him with the humongous task of bringing order and prosperity to a state like Uttar Pradesh. Now this is about what may have lead to his selection. But is he capable of fulfilling the will of his party leadership and aspirations of the citizens of his state? My answer would be YES.
That he has won five consecutive elections is a testimony to the fact that he has been working for every person in his constituency irrespective of their religion. His track record in the parliament validates his credentials of being a responsible representative of common man. His attendance in the Lok Sabha was 77% and he has asked 284 questions and participated in 56 debates. This shows that he is a man who takes his job seriously and would continue to do so in the future. His no nonsense approach is exactly the kind of medicine needed to get Uttar Pradesh rid of widespread lawlessness which has engulfed the state like a plague.
Also, the time has come when the mindset has to change and everyone should accept the fact that a politician can be aligned to Hindutva ideology and can still work for the inclusive growth of all sections of society. I still do not understand why the word Hindutva is being scorned upon in our country? India is the only country where the majority population is not allowed to promote their religion. It is not the right wing party like BJP or leaders like Yogi Adityanath and Narendra Modi who are a threat to the sovereignty of this nation. It is in fact the parties like Congress that are always appeasing the minorities to create a vote bank for themselves, who are breaking the sovereign thread of this nation. The tenure of Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister of Gujrat and as Prime Minister of India is a proof that a leader can stick to his ideology and still work for the inclusive growth.
I can conclude that with Modi at center to guide him and with his own charismatic personality, Yogi Adityanath would bring a new age of development in Uttar Pradesh. He would usher in a new era of governance which would be strict with offenders, sympathetic towards weak, will work for all and would bring Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.
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