With reference to “Yogi’s new posture” (March 20), the appointment of Yogi Adityanath, a staunch priest of exclusive Hinduism, as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh was anticlimactic. Given his distaste for Muslims in the state, it is bound to alienate them — and they constitute 20 per cent of the population. Some of them who voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might be repenting now. The choice has also dismayed those who felt the massive win in UP would motivate Narendra Modi to follow his slogan of “welfare of all with the co-operation of all”. Besides, Adityanath’s lack of administrative experience and stubbornness about certain sections raise doubts about his ability to govern the state in a fair manner. Add to this the many offences allegedly committed by him, including criminal intimidation and attempt to murder. Further, his hard-line Hindutva has made Modi’s firm supporters, who are followers of moderate Hinduism, uncomfortable if not disillusioned.
The hope that the PM’s influence and the responsibility of the new position would make the incumbent transform himself seems remote. While the chief ministers of other states owe a lot to Modi for their position, Adityanath has been defiant of the BJP quite often. He has a private army of his own and strong following. Besides, he is the public face of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Thus in spite of having more mature and even-handed chief ministerial candidates the BJP’s preference for Adityanath looks eerie.
Y G Chouksey Pune