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With reference to “Yogi’s new posture” (March 20), the coronation of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is supposed to strengthen the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Hindutva establishment in deference to social and communal equations that have enabled it to reap a bumper harvest in the UP polls. The CM, belonging to the Thakur community, is flanked by two deputies — one a Brahmin (Dinesh Sharma) and the other an OBC (Keshav Prasad Maurya) to keep the existing vote bank equations intact. In spite of Narendra Modi’s gung-ho election rhetoric in favour of development, he tactfully fanned communal division. Yogi Adityanath’s appointment as CM only vindicates the subtle polarisation that Modi advocated to consolidate Hindu votes.
Thus, the selection of Yogi Adityanath as CM has been triggered by Hindutva and not development. But the BJP leadership must keep in mind that his appointment would widen the schism of divisive politics, evoking a milieu favourable for the other parties to come together. Such an effort had been made in the 1993 assembly elections, though foiled, when saffron politics was at its peak in UP after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. It seems impossible for Yogi Adityanath, the propagator of “love jihad” or conversion politics, to desist from communal politics. UP may then witness a reverse swing in the politics of polarisation in the 2019 elections. Therefore, it will be pragmatic for the new BJP government in UP to stick to development issues instead of the politics of polarisation based on Hindutva.
Buddhadev Nandi Bankura