One day Modi will regret having Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh

Ashok K Singh
Ashok K SinghApr 10, 2018 | 16:51

One day Modi will regret having Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reprimand to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has come too late and it’s also too little.

Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in separate meetings in Delhi on Saturday (April 7) are understood to have rapped Yogi on the knuckles over simmering revolt of Dalit MPs, loss in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-elections and general lacklustre performance of the state government.  


Alarmed by UP’s four Dalit MPs’ revolt in protest against cases of increasing violence against Dalits under the Yogi government, Amit Shah will be visiting Lucknow on April 11 to take stock of the situation and plan corrective measures.

The situation is indeed alarming. A day after Modi and Shah scolded Yogi, a minor girl attempted to kill herself in front of the chief minster’s residence. The 16-year-old girl has alleged that Kuldeep Singh Sengar, BJP legislators from Unnao, raped her. Rather than arresting the guilty, the Yogi police arrested the father of the girl on the legislator’s complaint. He died in judicial custody on Monday (April 9), allegedly as a result of police torture.

File photo of Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath. (Credit: PMO/Twitter)

Modi must be worried about the repercussions of the cases of rising violence against Dalits and deteriorating law and order situation ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. At least 49 people have been killed in 1,000 police encounters, many reported to be staged-managed cases.

The worry is that the slide in the BJP’s performance that was reflected in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur results and the anger of Dalits will seal the party’s fate in 2019 if situations don’t improve.


However, an important question to ask is whether Modi’s scolding can bring about a change in Yogi’s attitude? Is Yogi capable of putting the party back on the road to recovery?

The answer is no. It’s late for course correction to win over the people - Dalits, Muslims - Yogi has alienated with his high handedness, arrogance and incompetence. His inexperience in government affairs has left a void in administration. There is a mess all around in UP.

It’s late for Yogi to suddenly turn leaf and morph into a seasoned administrator and grasp the intricacies of governance. It’s late for him to win over estranged people who had enthusiastically voted for the BJP in the Assembly elections despite setbacks of demonetisation.

The issue is not just about Yogi’s incompetence and the government’s pathetic performance. It’s Yogi’s ideology. Modi should have known the saffron-robed Yogi has built his political career on the back of communal and sectarian politics. He has been a rabble-rouser spewing hatred for Muslims; he has been the face of hardline Hindutva zealots. “Sabka saath, sabka vikaas” is not his creed.

Yogi lacks the manner in which Modi can transcend ideological rigidity to carry the people along. As the mahant of Gorakhnath temple, Yogi has not learnt the art of political persuasion. His ability to make outreach to the people who feel alienated from his administration is severely limited.


Modi woke up to the grim situation in Uttar Pradesh after four party MPs - Yaswant Singh, Savitri Bai Phule, Chote Lal Kharwar and Ashok Kumar Dohre - complained to leadership that Yogi government is not alive to the risk of growing loss of trust among Dalits for the BJP. They have complained about the government’s apathy towards the situation and pointed out how Yogi was rude towards them when they raised the issue of discrimination against Dalits with him.

They have apprised Modi and Shah of the apprehensions among Dalits about BJP’s lack of commitment for reservation for Dalits. The increasing number of crimes being reported against Dalits and the Supreme Court judgment on SC/ST Atrocities Act has further worsened the apprehension.

But it’s not merely Dalit MPs’ protest that has caused concern to Modi about Uttar Pradesh's political situation. As reported earlier by this writer on March 15, a team of RSS leaders led by joint-general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale visited UP to assess the situation. Hosabale and his team had had meetings with Yogi, his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya and other senior party leaders.

Hosabale had also alerted Yogi about the government’s lacklustre performance on several fronts. The RSS leaders were concerned, in particular, over the growing resentment among Dalits and also sections of the OBCs who have been core supporters of the BJP.

Hosabale, considered close to Modi, had also spoken to the chief minister about the bureaucracy’s lackadaisical attitude that has left the state administration in disarray. The RSS leader asked the chief minister to rein in the bureaucracy.

The RSS feedback on the Uttar Pradesh situation has alerted Modi and Amit Shah to the risk of UP being lost to the Opposition, the SP and the BSP, which is trying to unite to fight the BJP in 2019.

It seems Modi’s patience with Yogi’s inept handling of administration is running thin. This is not the first time he had reprimanded him. In September last year, Modi and Shah took Yogi to task after women students protesting against sexual violence on the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus were beaten up by the police in a lathicharge.

It happened on the day Modi was on a two-day visit to Varanasi, his home constituency, which caused a huge embarrassment to him besides giving a political handle to the opposition parties.

It’s obvious, Yogi has failed to mend his ways and imbibe administrative acumen despite repeated warnings given by the BJP’s central leadership as well as senior RSS leaders.

Yogi Adityanath is an albatross around Modi’s neck.

Last updated: June 01, 2018 | 13:06
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