Uttar Pradesh is gearing up for the assembly elections in early 2022 and BJP has announced Yogi Adityanath would be the face of the party.
New Delhi: In March 2017, days after the BJP stormed to power, winning a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, the only major issue in public debate was – how and why Yogi Adityanath should rule India's most politically important populous state as the chief minister.
Well, I had argued that in choosing Adityanath, who follows an ascetic lifestyle, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had authorized him to anchor BJP's Government in the state and gave the Hindu groups an overwhelming pro-Hindutva support base a new generation of leadership.
Yogi has, for that matter, not looked back since then. Either for Tripura polls or in southern states such as Kerala and Karnataka, Yogi has been in immense demand for election campaigning in any election season.
On Nov 21, Sunday, Yogi Adityanath, who shared the photograph from his Twitter handle, wrote in Hindi, "Hum nikal pade hain pran karke….ambar se ooncha jana hai, ek Bharat naya banana hai (We have started on with the pledge to sacrifice our body and mind. We are determined to create a new sun/wave and go further than the skies-to build a New India)."
The snaps and the tweet went viral on social media, and there was a public debate in more ways than one. The photos of PM Modi, a catalyst of development with a firm commitment to the Hindutva ideology, keeping his hand on Yogi Adityanath's shoulder, would be in public memory for weeks and months to come.
PM Modi and BJP leadership (Amit Shah as BJP president in 2017) have been visionary in creating a vote catcher while the Indian opposition and the Congress party were stuck in the political approaches of the 1970s.
Notably, the Modi-Yogi snaps have surfaced within days the Prime Minister announced the repeal of three farm laws.
In 2014-15, when the Government scuttled the Land Acquisition Bill because of resistance from opposition parties, there was scepticism about 'reforms'. Even then, the political-Hindutva agenda had surfaced in debate. By 2017 December, the Government introduced the Triple Talaq Bill, and before that, in 2016 November, PM Modi announced the banning of high-value currency notes.
In between, the GST was enforced, displaying PM Modi's determination to steer some of the major electoral promises of his party.
Now that elections are due in crucial states, including Uttar Pradesh, the snap would go down as a significant piece of photographic evidence that Mr Modi does have faith in Yogi, who is about 20 years younger than him.
The Hindutva issues are again in the debate. Yogi is the chief priest of the famed Gorakhnath (Shiva) temple in Gorakhpur and has made Gorakhpur a winning constituency for four elections 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014.
If there were any debates on whether the Modi-Yogi combination is the ideal synthesis of politics and development or not, the snaps and the tweet from UP Chief Minister would put all speculation to rest.