Adityanath has emerged alongside Modi and Shah as the third pillar with his overall political wisdom that demolished anti-establishment sentiment and shattered caste-based politics
Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has succeeded in bringing about a significant shift in caste-based politics in his State by focussing on an agenda that was well-defined and strategically envisaged. He touched deeply as he brought Hindutva to the forefront along with relevant issues of growth and development, thereby strengthening Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electoral campaign. Even western Uttar Pradesh, once a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (SP-BSP-RLD) alliance felt the big shake-up as the seats that were earlier considered their bastion started showing a shift towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp.
It was an astute move by Adityanath to kick-start the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign from Shakumbhari Devi temple in Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh. During the rallies, he did not mince words as he spoke about the alliance (SP-BSP) in the State and what he thinks of Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi. Adityanath touched a chord with his audience by his choice of place as well his demeanour. He clearly emerged as the third most visible and powerful leader of the BJP as he toured throughout the State and held 137 rallies for the 80 Assembly seats.
As Uttar Pradesh was being fretted upon constantly by the BJP due to the strong SP-BSP alliance, turning the voter to its side was a big challenge for the party. With dismal hopes (a maximum of 25 seats were predicted for BJP in Uttar Pradesh) for the party’s performance in the 2019 elections in the State, it was a feat well accomplished as Adityanath succeeded in shifting the voters’ attention from the caste-based ideology of the alliance. He impressed upon them the promise of development and growth; albeit wrapped in the shroud of Hindutva and patriotic fervour. In spite of having radical nuances and a polarised approach, the Yogi-Modi team succeeded in uniting the Hindu electorate with slogans like “Green Virus” and “Ali and Bajrangbali” remarks. But was that all?
To say the least, Adityanath’s own accomplishments as the Chief Minister in the last two years after he took office in March 2017 played a big role in the current Lok Sabha elections. Achievements like successful implementation of the various Central Government schemes and improved law and order situation in the State were harped on in all rallies and speeches by Prime Minister Modi and party president Amit Shah during their rallies and road shows. The Yogi factor was conspicuous whenever Modi and Shah addressed an audience while campaigning in the State.
From the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, under which housing is being provided to more than 20 lakh families, to the Swachh Bharat Mission, Adityanath and his achievements were the highlight of the party’s campaign. Not without valid reason though. The Yogi Government has done praiseworthy work since it came to power in Uttar Pradesh. Schemes like Saubhagya scheme, which promises prompt electricity connections, and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana have all been implemented in the State and have also succeeded in reinstating faith and confidence in the BJP among the masses across the country.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Adityanath himself vigorously campaigned throughout the country. Besides touring extensively in Uttar Pradesh, he also travelled to West Bengal amid high tensions between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress (TMC). He and Shah visited the State to hold rallies at a number of places for which they were denied permission by the Mamata Government. The TMC even blamed the BJP for the sporadic violence that erupted during the election campaign in many parts of the State.
It is noteworthy that at this point, there were no incidents of violence or unrest in Uttar Pradesh in contrast to Bengal and many other parts of the country and it went on to set an example for others to replicate. This was due to an improved law and order in the State and a newly installed people’s faith in the Government. In addition to Uttar Pradesh and Bengal, Yogi travelled extensively to Assam, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar and held a number of rallies.
It is clear that the Yogi Government’s hard work and perseverance in Uttar Pradesh has paved the way for a smoother and hurdle-free victory for the BJP at the national level. While the transparency and honesty displayed by his regime has been praised, the corruption-laden and caste-based dynasty politics of SP-BSP has been widely criticised and looked down upon by a majority of voters. All said and done, Adityanath and his overall political wisdom has demolished the anti-establishment sentiment and shattered the old caste-based system of politics to the extent that people from across the nation have given their mandate in favour of the BJP once again.
(The writer is Associate Editor [Business], The Pioneer)
Writer: Amit Goel
Courtesy: The Pioneer