Assembly Election, Yogi Adityanath

After massive electoral victory in UP, selection of Yogi Adityanath has raised many uncomfortable questions. Based on past political activity and utterances, Yogi ji has an image of hardline right wing person. He has many utterances that are highly inflammatory, demeaning and derogatory to members of minority communities like muslims, christian, women and lesbian, gay and transgendersvideo has surfaced where in the presence of Yogi Adityanath highly xenophobic and misogynist statements are being made against muslims. 

Many, including opinion makers and commentators, have claimed induction of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of UP is a regressive decision. Yet, we tend to forget that Yogi Adityanath has been elected from his constituency of Gorakhpur for five consecutive five year terms. Gorakhpur has a large muslim population. Gorakhpur has not seen many communal riots. Many members of minority community work in temple premises and get treatment in hospital run by society whose head is Swami Adityanath. In the market around Gorakhnath temple, many shops are rented by muslims. Consequently, if anti minority bias of Swami Adityanath if that strident, it did not reflect on statements of people from muslim community that interact with him on a daily basis. 

Important question that arises is now that Yogi Adityanath is chief minister of UP, a vast and diverse state, can Yogi Adityanath pursue an agenda of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas“? It is one thing to work in the environment of Gorakhpur, where Yogi Ji was the final authority. It is another thing to run a state where there are many stakeholders and where there will be much complex situations emerging and extreme provocations. Will Yogi Adityanath be able to deliver development to all segments of society? 

May be he will. Many consider, Yogi ji to be a no nonsense, upright man. He has no relation that can loot government coffer for their personal benefit. Many had considered Prime Minister Modi to be a strident anti-muslim voice. But weight of crown has tempered his instincts. As a prime minister, Mr. Modi has concentrated most of his energy on development of India. Will Yogi Adityanath change upon becoming chief minister? Many hope and pray, he will for the sake of massive electoral verdict, for the sake of people of UP and India and for electoral fortune of BJP. 

Yet strongest test for Yogi Adityanath will arise on issues related to religious sentiments? Now that Ram Janambhoomi – Babri Masjid issue has emerged again, in the event of an adverse supreme court verdict what and how will chief minister Yogi Adityanath react? Will he be a hindu devotee or chief minister of a state? Will he let police work in an unbiased manner and control mobs from hindu and muslim communities with equal energy? That will be the real test for BJP, Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath. Let us hope and pray all works out as per plan. 

It is important to note that predecessors of Yogi Adityanath, had not covered themselves in glory while handling the issue. So, it may not be fair to weigh down our new chief minister with weight of our expectation, wish and desire. As advised by Mr. Swapan Dasgupta, let us judge chief minister Yogi Adityanath on his performance and not on his past history.

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