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Those Accusing Me of 'Thakurvaad' Lost Their Deposits in Elections, Says Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (Image: PTI)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (Image: PTI)

Adityanath said that merit is the means of selection to the posts in the administration and the officers appointed have not been there on the basis of their caste.

New Delhi: Calling 'merit' as the sole criterion in the decision-making process of his government, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has rubbished allegations of showing bias towards any particular community, especially towards the Thakurs or the Rajputs.

In an exclusive interview to News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, Adityanath fielded questions on a host of issues, including allegations of promoting ‘Thakurvaad’ during his regime.

“Those who accuse me of 'Thakurvaad' lost their deposit in elections because it’s a baseless allegation, my closest aides in the government are from different communities because of their merit,” he said.

Adityanath's given full name is Ajay Singh Bisht. Born to Rajput parents in the Uttarakhand hills, he followed in the footsteps of his uncle and predecessor Mahant Avaidyanath to join the Gorakhnath math in eastern UP. He later entered politics to represent Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha for five consecutive terms before becoming chief minister in 2017.

On the question of the perception that Brahmins are unhappy with his government, Adityanath said, “What can you do about perceptions? You can't mend mentalities of some people. Some have the wrong mindset and there is not much you can do about it. Our chief secretary is a Brahmin. The officer next in line is also a Brahmin. The chief of revenue department who is on the same level as that of chief secretary is also a Brahmin. The additional chief secretary of the state's Home Ministry is also a Brahmin. Our DGP is Kshatriya. But we have not kept anybody on the basis of being a Brahmin or Kshatriya. We have kept them based on their ability.”

Adityanath said this was not the first time that such allegations were levelled against him.

"When I fought the Lok Sabha elections for the first time, even then such allegation were levelled against me," he said. "Once the opposing parties made this the very basis of their election campaign and fought against me, all of their deposits were gone. Within UP, the most number of Brahmin children stay in Goraksh Peeth and their education and livelihood is taken care of. So, such allegations keep coming. This is real politics. If such allegations are not levelled, then you are not in politics at all.”