Yogi Adityanath as the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, putting an end to speculations that were rife since the party won a landslide victory with 312 seats out of 403 in the state assembly elections. Yogi Adityanath, the controversial 44-year-old priest-politician from Gorakhpur is known for his staunch Hindutva approach, provocative speeches and mass following across the state. He never shies away from making controversial remarks, be it about Islam or Pakistan. He is a Member of the Parliament in the Lok Sabha and has been winning from his constituency since 1998, a seat where his spiritual father Mahant Avaidyanath had won from 1989-98.
Born Ajay Singh, the diminutive shaven headed politician is known for his powerful oratory, though most of his speeches hinge on divisive lines and has been in the forefront in keeping the communal politics alive in the country. Adityanath, who is a strong votary of construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, drove BJP’s Hindutva campaign in eastern UP in the just concluded Assembly polls in the politically crucial state where it won three-fourths majority.
Adityanath has rebelled against his party on several occasions, but because of the sway he holds over the ‘Hindu’ voters, the BJP apparently could not ignore his ‘leadership qualities.’ He had floated Hindu Yuva Vahini, a right-wing outfit, in 2002. Ever since, the HYV has been largely instrumental in his meteoric rise – from a student leader to five-time MP.