The elevation of Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a strategic decision aimed at further boosting the latter’s political stock in the country. In the last two days, some commentators have claimed that Yogi may actually prove to be a threat to Modi in the long run. However, such logic is beyond common sense. Yogi is just 45 years old now and he has decades of politics left in him. In contrast, PM Modi, who is already in his 60s, may not remain in active politics for more than 15 years.
At such a young age, Yogi commands huge voters’ following in Uttar Pradesh. In Gorakhpur alone, he has been winning Lok Sabha elections since 1998, when he was just 26-years-old. Being the head of a religiously inclined state Uttar Pradesh, Yogi will have the full opportunity to replicate his Gorakhpur model, which thrives on helping the needy, across Uttar Pradesh and become a vote-winning machine for the BJP and PM Modi.
Here are at least five reasons to believe that Yogi is perhaps the best thing ever happened to the BJP and its supporters who want the Modi- rule to continue for several years. The reasons also show that Yogi can actually make Modi invincible, at least in Uttar Pradesh.
- Regular Media focus on UP government, its policies and achievements
Yogi has been infamous for making controversial and often communal remarks against a particular community in past. With him as the Uttar Pradesh CM, the state will get regular media attention. Thus, providing the Yogi government free publicity, if it does well, and help boost PM Modi’s image as a man of his words. Politics is afterall about perception.
- Yogi can win over Muslims, and may even find a peaceful solution to Ram temple issue
Even as Yogi has been under serious attack for allegedly being anti-Muslim, in real life the Mahant of Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur is not a Muslim-hater per se. Even his Mutt employs Muslims for several works and also help needy Muslim community members. Yogi, however, is against Wahabi Islam, which is believed to be the reason behind the rise of terrorism.
- If successful, Yogi will further boost Modi’s image as a pro-poor leader and gain their trust
On several occasions, PM Modi has claimed his government’s mission is to work for the poor. Uttar Pradesh is one of the poorest states in the country. With the support of Centre, Yogi can work for the poor and help boost Modi’s image further.
- With focus on Yogi, Modi will be saved from criticism for his Hindutva, RSS credentials
With Yogi in UP, the liberals and anti-Hindutva intellectuals would tend to focus their words on Yogi. Modi may be finally spared of the criticism for his Hindutva and RSS credentials and it is already happening. A more apparently inclusive Modi’s appeal would then further spread the footprint of the saffron party across the country.
- Modi thrives on criticism. With Yogi in UP, more criticism will only improve Modi’s appeal and aura.
If you have followed Modi’s politics for the last few years, you would know that the PM thrives on criticism. Now that Modi critics have found one more target in the form of Yogi, expect that Modi’s appeal will not see a downfall in the coming years.