The Yogi And The Future of Uttar Pradesh
File photo of Mohandas Pai/Getty Images
The BJP victory in UP has shaken up the Media and other political parties not only for the scale of the victory but also its aftermath.
Typical of parts of the Media who have arrogated to themselves the right to decide for the rest of us, there were calls for the media to play the role of the opposition and some expressing concern whether certain communities will feel threatened.
It was certainly a brilliant move by the BJP. The new CM is a 5 term MP, a powerful orator with demonic energy, very young at around 45 years, a grassroots person who vibes with the electorate and is able to deliver the votes and above all represents the aspiration of the young UP electorate.
In his area of influence around Goraknath he has strong support across communities and has demonstrated his committed to welfare of citizens. UP possibly has one of the youngest populations in India, largely rural, very under governed and very diverse representing the Indian heartland.
A very poor region it has consistently grown with 17%+ of India's population at growth rates lesser than the Indian average. For the last 10 years it has seen a rule by caste based groups with development and growth on the back burner.
The new CM comes across as a person with very strong views, unafraid to speak his mind or court controversy, strongly 'Hindu' in his approach, a celibate and monk too and the head of an old 'Math'.
He has reportedly spoken against a certain minority community in the past and has several criminal cases of rioting, intimidation and violation of the law against him, many foisted against him by a hostile government which was out to finish him.
Many in the media are perplexed at his choice. But he has campaigned successfully and consolidated the Hindu vote in a caste driven society with wide support cutting across caste, gender and region. A strong person who holds his own he seems cast in the Modi mould.
For a largely lawless state a strong CM focused on governance is essential. In his first press conference he has clearly stated he would rule with a strong hand, protecting all citizens, without discrimination focused on development.
His choice shows a clear strategy by the BJP to prepare for the big Election in 2019 in what is the most crucial State for seats in Parliament. To win big in 2019 as in 2014 and 2017, a clear consolidation of the Hindu Vote cutting across caste is essential. All other parties have played the Muslim card combing with other caste groups to come to power.
The BJP has succeeded in bypassing the Muslim vote by its successful strategy. There is a strong possibility of all other political parties joining together to prevent votes splitting in 2019 and a Hindu consolidation is certainly needed if BJP has to win.
To win in 2019, the new government has to govern well till then, demonstrating economic growth, development and jobs. Rule of law, safety of life, liberty and property of all citizens specially women, the poor and vulnerable sections including the Muslims, is essential. Roads, power, water for drinking and agriculture, other infrastructure, health and education, enforcement of the rule of law and dismantling of the goonda raj, improving the quality of life, jobs and creating economic opportunities for all should be the target.
As PM Modi has done in Gujarat over the last 10 years before becoming the PM, there is no reason to suspect why the new CM will not do the same.
Certainly much hope and the future of Indian politics depend on the strong broad shoulders of Yogi Adityanath.
(The author is Chairman, Aarin Capital Partners. Views are personal)
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