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After Modi, now Yogi Aditynath is the party’s most popular leader
After Modi, now Yogi Aditynath is the party’s most popular leader

The least that was expected of the BJP, after its stunning victory in the UP assembly elections was to appoint a rabble rouser ‘fanatic’ Hindu yogi, as its Chief Minister. The announcement looked contrary to Modi’s central agenda of development and governance, which he has been relentlessly pursuing since he came to power in 2014. The announcement of a polarising figure as CM, with several criminal charges against him, left many in doubt and deeply disappointed. They assumed that the BJP’s pretence of ‘sabka saath-sabka vikas’ was over and that in appointing the Yogi, its real ‘communal’ image/intent was now blatantly in the open, with no Opposition to brook. The anti India sections of the international media, predicted good bye to development and governance and welcome to street level communal strife. The nay sayers readily joined the budding anti Modi chorus. So sure were these doomsdayers, that all that Prannoy Roy, the NDTV head honcho, had, to ask the incumbent CM, was not his development plans for UP, but whether he was a Hindu first and then an Indian. That was an oblique communal question, hoping that it would expose the Yogi to be a Hindu fanatic. In the very first week of his annointment, the maverick Yogi Adityanath has proved the likes of NDTV right – that he is indeed a fanatic, but not of the type they allege and hope for. In his first days of appointment as the UP CM, the Yogi has announced his intent loud and clear, to be a fanatic for development, social justice, law and order and to root out the curse of corruption from UP. He has not missed a single opportunity to make it clear that he is here to tirelessly work for the development and upliftment of UP, a state that has been mired in corruption and caste/communal politics since independence.

The Yogi comes as a breath of fresh air, for a state that has immensely suffered due to the communal/caste politics, alternately played by the likes of Mulayam Singh and Mayawati, whenever they come to power. So terrible was the casteism level in the government, that while in Mayawati’s tenure, all key government functionaries were Dalits, on the other hand in Mulayam Singh’s time it was the turn of the Yadavs to man all key government posts

and police stations. The Yogi has refused to play the caste card, as he is determined to leapfrog UP into the national development game, where UP has been left miles behind. He has already warned the bureaucrats that if they are not prepared to work 18-20 hours a week, then they should be prepared to quit. He has also sternly warned that corruption in any form will just not be tolerated. A Hindu ‘fanatic’ has suddenly emerged as a respected statesman for the development of UP, a blighted state. The industrialists/businessmen have generally shunned UP, due to high levels of crime and corruption there. In order to attract investment/industries to UP, the CM has said that he will soon implement a new industrial investment policy. He has said that his government will solve problems of its entrepreneurs on a priority basis, for which a single window system is proposed to be set up. The Yogi promises simple, transparent and time bound procedures. He is keen to make UP safe for women, with a focus on law and order, education and  economic development. Shape up a ship out is his message to his babus, conveying his intent that he means business and that he will not hesitate to sack the non performers. The bureaucrats are already spending sleepless nights, preparing PPTs and department targets, which are being directly reviewed and directed by the CM.

With a brute majority in the assembly, it will be easy for the Yogi to pursue ambitious plans for development of UP and improve its infamous law and order. It is too early in the day to applaud Yogi Adityanath, but if he delivers what he has promised, he will deserve a resounding standing ovation. Let his fanaticism be in the right direction.

akhilesh@akhilesh.ca akhilesh@arbco.ca