the monk – envied, feared and loved

The BJP high command could not have done anything other than deciding to proceed with in respect of the party and the government in UP – to deliberate, analyse and examine the facts which they were already aware of even without the reports of the center party teams and try bring home the points to the Chief Minister signaling yellow to watch all sides and proceed to take the party to the next destination which is all important for him as well as for the party. The unscheduled visit to the capital that it was, all positive statements were ensured to be issued by all concerned including the center observers preceding his departure, no symptom of any negative vibes were allowed to even peep in and no known unknown source was allowed to provide the media any masala with.

BJP knows its leaders too well and it also knows when to press which buttons. Having contributed immensely to make a star become a super star it could not have taken back the steps it had already taken – it had to proceed with them further at best with some path correction sitting besides the driver may be trying filling some more seats in the car facilitating smoother drive.

The core and the crude thing first – Yogi Adityanath is not an RSS-made leader, he is not even a Jansangh-BJP made leader. He made himself richly deserve it in the shadow of Gorakhnath Math, his self-created credentials of an aggressive non-compromising proponent of Hindutva and Nationalism – spicier Hindutva than the RSS professes and more crude Nationalism than the BJP preaches. In fact, during initial years of his political progression both RSS and BJP had to pamper him too much and has had to agree to his terms until he became part of the party. But still, he owes too less to the party and hence remains vulnerable at least to the extent that the high command may not be able to pose harsh to him. However, the crude but seasoned politician that he is, he knows too well that he would not be able to proceed well with his path by any way joining issue with high command, especially with the Prime Minister and this dilemma would make the fine balance.

Two, his commitment and conviction to the cause and ethics of the party is unimpeachable, irrevocable and indelible. There is none better than him who can take forward the BJP in its true spirit in the state that matters most for any dispensation in the centre. All erstwhile stars of Vajpayee era having been side-lined and thus, faded away, the party badly needs a charismatic crowd puller – Yogi has proved to be a true star campaigner who could pull the crowd on his own and this definitely makes him more distinguished among his fellow leaders.

Three, despite everything said and done he has been a performing chief minister. He is known to be decisive, firm and honest to his words. He is said to have presented his report card to the centre and to the party and seemingly made then convinced of his excellent performance. Various surveys conducted by media houses including some of western media confirm his prudence and popularity and important govts and their intelligence agencies are said to be keeping close watch on his tactics and strategies. His age, energy and stamina are on his side as well which too give him the edge required.

But there are dissatisfactions and those are, to the great extent, apparently true and convincing. He has gone arrogant, become largely unapproachable and not at all amenable to his critics. In going to put up his point of views he does not feel the necessity to listen to even his ministerial colleagues. He has over-loaded himself with departments, to which he is seemingly not able to do justice to. There is also lack of collective responsibility and largely he believes is solo-going. He apparently is over evaluating himself – he may be hugely popular in one of the regions of the vast state he leads but yet to grow himself to be popular enough to fit into the shoes of the many great chief ministers that the state has had.

There are many vacancies in his ministry and given the size of the assembly the ministry is supposed to accommodate many more people. All the sections of society have not been properly represented. The coalition partners – notably Nishad Party and Apna Dal – feel alienated and correctly allege that in absence of their representations in the ministry they are not able to do justice to their constituencies which are increasingly feeling neglected and thus, offended. Allegations of taking sides of his caste is too touchy and dangerous a proposition which is already creating loss of face for him. Given the religious background he is from he is expected to be above these hollow feelings.

One of the very basic components of governance – the nature of administration especially law and order – requires lot of improvement and is far from being good. The tone and tenor of state administration often does not sound impartial and neutral and often appears to be tilting to one side or the other. Given the size and nature of the state and its multi- faceted population having too much of diversities and contradictions, the administration has to be more responsive to the diverse needs of the society.

Down the line his reputation, rather disreputation, of being anti-minority is an apparent huge hurdle to his wider acceptability which he has to make up with. None would be knowing better than him that even core and crude Hindutva never believes in any anti-community ethos. There has been marked difference is his make over post becoming the chief minister, still he has to shed quite more of the remains of it in his personality and he is required to emit saintlier vives. It is good that his Hindu Yuva Bahini is now defunct and with this many controversies associated with this have died down too. Much of the water in the holy Ganga have flown since he went to Lok Sabha first and he has to come in terms of the times he has progressed to.

His state has always led the history of the nation. It not only sends the largest of numbers but also is the center of various ideological platforms. Narendra Modi must have brain-stormed a lot before he went on to adopt the state to send him to 7, Race Course with much of aura and glory. Yogi too belongs to a place which no longer is part of the state he leads. From 2014 onwards the state stood with the party too strongly and decisively. The stakes, therefore, remains too high.

Of late, BJP is missing too many organisational strengthening points especially post 2019. It largely remains content having inflow by way of defections and sidelining the core ethos of what it always stood for. This may cause huge disillusionment among leaders as also among rank and file. The coalition partners too may get impatient with time as 2024 approaches. A reshuffle and/or expansion at the center too may be required to keep pace with UP requirements. UP boarder leads well into the center capital – Delhi has to keep pace with Lucknow. Yogi, on his part, may not be found wanting!



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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