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1-min read

Yogi Adityanath: The Political Machinations

One of the most famous statements to describe Yogi Adityanath, man chosen by Narendra Modi to lead UP, goes as follows. "Ek haath mei Maala, doosre Mei Bhaala, aise hain Yogi Lala (In one hand a garland, in another a javelin, that is our Yogi)."

Bhupendra Chaubey | CNN-News18bhupendrachaube

Updated:March 19, 2017, 5:19 PM IST
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Yogi Adityanath: The Political Machinations
File photo of Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath
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One of the most famous statements to describe Yogi Adityanath, man chosen by Narendra Modi to lead UP, goes as follows: "Ek haath mei Maala, doosre Mei Bhaala, aise hain Yogi Lala (In one hand a garland, in another a javelin, that is our Yogi)."

This comparison between an ornament and a weapon is one amongst many fables which have been circulated around Yogi Aditynath for many years. It's this very comparison which is giving a lot of unease even to BJP's hardest supporters.

So why is Yogi going to be sitting in Lok Bhawan in UP? Not many know that Yogi Adityanath's real name is Thakur Ajay Singh. He was born in Garhwal before making Gorakhdham his base. Purely from a caste consideration, he works well for the BJP to hold onto the upper castes who voted heavily for the BJP this election season.

More than anything else, his mere presence as UP CM will consistently give message to the hardliners within the BJP support base that here is a man who is a proud Hindu.

Team Amit Shah worked assiduously to ensure that the BJP got a major chunk or roughly 35% of non-Yadav OBC vote. The block which voted overwhelmingly for development. This group wants to see some decisions. For instance, a speedy implementation of farm loan waiver to the poor and marginalised farmer, a commitment already made by BJP in its vision document during UP polls. Yogi is the idea guy who brings together all these aspirations. The ideal mix of religiosity - caste and politics.

The media will of course play up all the comments which he has made against Muslims over the years. In a strange way, more the criticism of Yogi on religious lines, more powerful he will become in the eyes of his supporters. It hence creates a huge conundrum of sorts too for the political opposition in UP.

The choice also shows how the BJP has interpreted this election verdict in UP. Was it a vote for development? Was it a vote for polarisation? With Yogi's choice, that answer has been given very clearly.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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