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Hindutva Poster Boy Role Diminishes Yogi’s Standing As CM

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditiyanath at the BJP State Executive Meeting in Lucknow on Monday. PTI Photo by Nand Kumar (PTI5_1_2017_000173B)

By Pradeep Kapoor

LUCKNOW: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is finding it difficult to work with multiple power centres in the party and the government. Even after six months of assuming office, the Chief Minister is yet to have a grip on the affairs of governance and has miserably failed in the task.

Law and order has become a major embarrassment for him so much so that the RSS conclave held at Mathura expressed concern over the deterioration in law and order.

BJP president Amit Shah during his three-day stay in Lucknow also held meeting with senior party functionaries and the government and reviewed law and order situation.

Yogi started off well in the first month, shaking up the entire bureaucracy and things appeared to be improving. An impression was gaining ground that if the situation continued like that, Yogi could even be considered as prime minister material. However, with the emergence of several power centres, the Chie Minister started losing control over the administration.

In fact, BJP general secretary Sunil Bansal has emerged as the most powerful person in the state. Bansal, who is from RSS, belongs to Rajasthan and was the deputy leader of the party in the state before the Lok Sabha polls. After the unprecedented success in the Lok Sabha polls, when the party got 73 seats out of a total 80, and later in the UP Assembly elections in which the got an overwhelming majority with 325 seats, his clout has grown manifold in the party as well as the government.

Now the ministers report to Sunil Bansal, who gives instructions and directions to them and one can see a constant line of ministers outside his office. Similarly, he summons bureaucrats also to his office. The message is loud and clear: he is the one calling the shots. That is why the business community is also seen visiting Sunil Bansal to seek his favour. Apart from Bansal, the PMO is also monitoring the functioning of the administration from Delhi.

Senior bureaucrat Nripendra Mishra belonging to the UP cadre was appointed in PMO after his retirement. The appointment of officers in key positions is being done in consultation with Nripendra Mishra.

As if these two power centres were not enough, party president Amit Shah is also taking a keen interest in the day to day affairs of the government in UP. Besides, the party leadership has appointed two spokesmen for the government: Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh and Power minister Srikant Verma.

Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh created a huge embarrassment for the government with his statement that death of children in month of August was very common. He was apparently defending death of hundreds of children in Gorakhpur for lack of Oxygen.

Similarly, the other spokesman Srikanth Verma could never satisfy the media or members of the public on the deterioration of power supply in the state.

After having realised that he has no free hand in governance, Yogi has started devoting more time promoting the Hindutva agenda. Now he is increasingly seen visiting Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Chitrakoot and performing puja and havan.

As a part of his grand design to rake up the Hindutva agenda, the entire Ayodhya was lit up with record breaking numbers of lamps on the eve of Deepawali and a Shobha Yatra of Ram Luxman and Sita was taken out in the holy city. Puja was performed on the bank of River Sarayu with the announcement about the construction of the tallest statue of Lord Ram.

There appears to be a grand plan to project Yogi Adityanath as the poster boy of Hindutva all over the country while the UP administration is handled by various power centres. This probably also explains why Yogi Adityanath was sent to Gujarat and Kerala for party events.

The conflict between his role as the Hindutva poster boy and a good administrator has not only affected Yogi Adityanath personally, it has also hit the smooth running of the state administration in UP. (IPA Service)

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