Thursday 20 January 2022
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Why Yogi was made Uttar Pradesh CM: Shah explains

Many people called me, saying 'Yogi has never even run a municipality, why are you making him CM?': Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah

Lucknow: The BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday explained the choice of Yogi Adityanath for the post of chief minister in Uttar Pradesh. The selection of Yogi Adityanath had taken all by surprise.

At a function in Lucknow today, the BJP chief said in the presence of the yogi, “No one thought Yogi would be Chief Minister. Many people called me, saying ‘Yogi has never even run a municipality, why are you making him CM?’ It’s true, he had not run even a municipality. He was a temple head.”

The selection of the head of the Gorakshanath Mutt, who has been subsequently hailed by the political right as the possible successor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to lead the politically crucial State was met with scepticism during the initial phase when his lack of administrative experience had disturbed many.

For Yogi is ‘work-oriented’

Shah was here to attend a bhoomi pujan function for investment projects worth Rs. 65,000 crores in Uttar Pradesh. “People asked me why we were giving him the reins of such a big State. But Modi ji and I decided to make him chief minister. He is work-oriented and has made up for his lack of experience with his work ethic,” the BJP chief said.

The BJP had won a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh in 2017 without projecting any chief ministerial face ahead of the election. The victory of the BJP after a long time in this State was attributed to Modi’s “development” agenda, as the people of the State were yearning to emerge from the governance cycle of SP-BSP rule.

But is Shah telling the truth?

While many were speculating after the Assembly election result of 2017 that could be the chief minister, Sinha had even prematurely offered puja at the Sankat Mochan temple, thanking God for the opportunity.

However, soon after the ‘coronation’ of the yogi, it was learnt that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had disapproved of the party’s top choice for the position of the chief minister, then Union Telecom Minister Sinha. The RSS wanted to seize the opportunity to honour a face of Hindutva at a time, mid-way through the Modi 1.0 regime, when a large section of the core voters of the BJP was believed to be drifting away with the sense that the government “did nothing” for the community. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Sinha failed to secure his Ghazipur seat.

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