What Modi, Sangh plan to achieve with Yogi Adityanath as CM of Uttar Pradesh

Swati Chaturvedi
Swati ChaturvediMar 19, 2017 | 12:30

What Modi, Sangh plan to achieve with Yogi Adityanath as CM of Uttar Pradesh

A wizened old BJP leader, an MP from Uttar Pradesh who has been sidelined in the current dyarchy of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi, said: "Mubarak hoh UP tumhey vikas hua hai, vikas ka naya naam Yogi Adityanath hai" (congratulations UP, you've given birth to development and his name is Yogi Adityanath).

Considered the fringe of the Sangh, 44-year-old Adityanath, five-term MP from Gorakhpur and CM-designate of UP, straddles the looney spectrum.


I have interacted with him on many occasions and on most issues the mahant of the Gorakhnath muth reveals the mindset of a medieval monk, though surrounded by men carrying a veritable modern armoury of weapons.

Adityanath was always clear he had his heart set on UP and would not accept anything else as I had earlier reported.

The RSS had a key role in his anointment as they felt that if their majoritarian agenda was not pushed through after such brute majority, then when would it be realised? All other contenders fell by the wayside as Adityanath towered over everyone in the "Hindutva agenda".

Two things are significant - UP was the original "Hindutva laboratory of the Sangh" much before Gujarat and by appointing Adityanath, Modi and the Sangh have their best chance at securing 2019 through majoritarian assertion and experiments in the country's largest state which sends 80 MPs to Parliament.

Adityanath has a record of minority-baiting and hate speech against Muslims and zero administrative experience, much like Modi when he took over as Gujarat CM. It would be tedious to repeat what transpired after the so-called Gujarat model but the parallels are uncanny.


Adityanath matches Modi speech for speech. If Modi as Gujarat CM talked of "hum paanch hamarey 25" and "baby-producing factories" about the Muslim relief camps set up in the aftermath of the 2002 riots, Adityanath has compared Kairana village - from where the mythical exodus of Hindus took place - to "Kashmir filled with anti-nationals".

Adityanath said in 2014: "There have been 450 riot cases in west UP because the population of a particular community is rising. In places where there is 10-20 per cent minority population, stray communal incidents take place. Where there is 20-35 per cent, serious communal riots take place and where they are more than 35 per cent, there is no place for non-Muslims."

The Yogi matches Modi speech for speech.

He also deployed the theme of the infamous "love jihad" and offered inducements to Hindus who brought "their" girls to the fold. When I asked him about this, he calmly told me he "believed in inter-community marriages but only the one correct way".

With this track record and freely available clips of his minority-baiting, UP's Muslims, already numbered at a historic low of 25 in this state Assembly, have reasons to be nervous. The BJP had ensured absolute polarisation by not giving a single ticket to Muslims in the recent elections.


Modi's "kabristaan" jibe, Shah's description of the entire opposition as "KASAB" pretty much indicated the writing on the wall. A thin veneer of "vikas" (development) covered the dog whistle but the actual aim was consolidation of the "larger Hindu samaj" breaking caste divisions - the fundamental aim of the RSS.

Hence, the anointment of the "Hindu hriday samrat" Adityanath was a foregone conclusion for the RSS. Modi and Shah played along for the bigger aim of ensuring a blitzkrieg for 2019 which is now topmost on their agenda.

So where does the much mentioned "vikas" go? Nowhere under Adityanath. It will be reduced to another jumla like "achhe din". Modi, the keenest political brain of his generation, has realised that development is not easy as growth has stalled so instead, the Adityanath circus will take centre-stage.

Even senior leaders within the BJP worry about the effect of Adityanath's anointment as CM on the Muslims of the state. They and the country have a reason to worry.

But as long as the "Hindutva agenda" and the monolith Hindu vote keeps winning Modi and Shah elections, nothing will change.

Last updated: March 20, 2017 | 11:49
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