48 years ago, on this day, 5 June 1972, in Panchur village of Paudi gadhwal, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand), a boy was born to Shri Anand Singh Bisht and Savitri Devi. The little boy was named Ajay Singh Bisht.
He completed his primary education from local schools of Pauri and Rishikesh.
He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Hemvanti Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University.
At the age of 18 in 1990, he joined Ayodhya Ram Temple Movement and there he came in contact with the head priest of Gorakhnath Math, Mahanth Avaidyanath and became his disciple.
To understand the rise of Yogi Adityanath we need to understand the impact of Gorakhnath Math.
Gorakhnath Math Dominance in Political Circle:
Gorakhnath math has been a hub of politics for decades. Digvijaynath who was an active member of congress in 1921. He got arrested for actively participating in chauri chaura incident in which protestors clashed with cops.
He left congress over disagreement with Gandhi’s decision of taking back the Non voilence movement in the wake of chauri chaura incident.
In 1935 Digvijaynath becomes the head of Gorakhnath Peeth and in 1937 he started active participation in Hindu Mahasabha.
Digvijaynath was also accused of inciting Hindu Mahasabha Karyakartas for killing Mahatma Gandhi and had to remain in jail for nine months but later he was acquited.
After being acquitted from jail, in 1949, he took the membership of Akhil Bhartiya Ramayan Mahasabha, which organised a Ram charit Manas Path on the disputed area of Ram Mandir and at the end of this program the idol of Ram appeared in the disputed site.
After this incident Digvijaynath popularity and power grew enormously which he tried to encash in general elections.
It is during his tenure as head of the Gorakhnath Peeth, the Math started becoming Power center in Purvanchal area.
In 1951 and 1962 general elections he fought and lost but became third time lucky in 1967 he won the election on Hindu Mahasabha ticket which further strengthen the power of math in electoral politics.
From 1962, Mahanth Avaidyanath, the disciple of Digvijaynath was continuosly being elected as MLA, but after the death of his guru Digvijaynath in 1969, he fought from his seat and won easily.
In 1971, Avaidyanath lost in Indira wave .
In 1974 he came back to his old vidhansabha seat and won the MLA election . He didn’t contest in 1977 election.
In 1989, when Ram janmbhumi movement was at its peak he decided to contest the loksabha election on BJP ticket and won comfortably . He continued his winning streak in 1991 and 1996 elections.
After 1996 elections the baton was passed by Avaidyanath to his spiritual and political heir Yogi Adityanath.
Rise of Yogi Adityanath:
After becoming the disciple of Avaidyanath in 1990 he got his name Yogi Adityanath.
In 1994 yogi was chosen the successor of Mahanth Avaidyanath and he became the head priest of Gorakhnath Math.
Yogi First came to limelight when students of an inter college (run by Gorakhnath Math) had a fight in Golaghar bazaar. Yogi led the march of students which turned voilent and yogi climbed the walls of SSP officer residence to register his displeasure over the issue.
In 1998 yogi fought the loksabha election for the first time against SP candidate Jamuna Prasad Nishad and won with a margin of 26000 votes. He became the youngest MP.
Due to growing Dominance of Gorakhnath Math and Yogi, then BJP MLA from Gorakhpur, Shiv Pratap Shukla and his group was upset with Math. So in 1999 general election due to infighting between shiv Pratap Shukla and yogi, he just managed to win by a slim margin of 7300 votes.
After 1999 election results, yogi realised that he can’t merely rely on BJP or Sangh for his political future. So he formed his own group Hindu Yuva Vahini.
In 2002 UP Vidhansabha election, yogi settled his political score with Shiv Pratap Shukla and shukla had to face the defeat in Gorakhpur. Yogi extended his support to Hindu Mahasabha candidate Dr Radhamohan Das Aggarwal, who defeated Shukla. However, later Aggarwal joined BJP.
In 2004, yogi defeated Jamuna Prasad Nishad by 1.5 lakh votes as Hindu Yuva Vahini was getting stronger day by day. However, Hindu Yuva Vahini was accused of doing hooliganism.
In 2009, the win margin only got better. He defeated the BSP candidate Vinay Shankar Tiwari, the son of Hari Shankar Tiwari with a handsome margin of 2 lakh votes.
In 2014, in Modi wave the win margin further widened and he won by ahuhe margin of 3 lakh votes.
Emergence of Yogi Adityanath as The Dark Horse for CM Post :
In 2017 election was announced in UP and after the debacle of BJP in Bihar and Delhi elections, all eyes were on UP. While Amit shah was the in- charge of UP in Loksabha election, he focussed on OBC + Upper caste combination which worked for BJP. So BJP elected keshav maurya as up party chief and OBC face to woo the voters.
Due to Yogi’s firebrand image he was not initially chosen in the list of top 40 star campaigner for up elections.
But his image and aura in purvanchal area is magnetic and bjp chief amit shah called him to campaign for the party in western up.
The national leadership of BJP was acknowledging his potential but the state leadership was not ready to acknowledge him.
Yogi was best suited for the manifesto of BJP which included a deadly cocktail of polarization, caste equation and development and it worked well for BJp and it won 325 seats out of 403.
Intially there were six candidates for the post of CM in BJP which included Rajnath Singh, Keshav Prasad Maurya, Dinesh Sharma, Varun Gandhi, Manoj Sinha and Yogi Adityanath.
Rajnath backed out because he wanted to remain in Delhi. Varun Gandhi was never in real contention it was only on social media, also his relationship with modi – shah was not helping his candidature.
Dinesh Sharma, however was very close to Amit Shah but his Brahmin face went against him.
Manoj Sinha was the first choice of Modi-Shah because they wanted to project a technocrat face but his candidature got rejected by Sangh due to his old fight with RSS leader Krishna Gopal Ji, who was then the incharge of Purvanchal.
Keshav Prasad Maurya was in contention till the last but criminal cases against him didn’t help his cause.
In the internal survey of BJP Yogi was the most popular face for CM and his aura and charismatic image helped him make the final cut. On 19 March 2017 , yogi took the oath as CM of UP.
Assesment of Yogi as CM :
Few months back Yogi completed his third year as CM of UP . Let’s see what are his achievements in these years-
- Yogi has a clean image as a strict administrator.
- He has given a free hand to police to improve the poor inherited law and order.
- He has mitigated the red tapism and nepotism.
- His work on encephalitis is commendable. He has got accolades from UN for his efforts towards Japnese encephalitis.
- He is working on the betterment of transportation and roads.
- He has summoned government officers to come on time and maintain cleanliness.
- He needs to develop the infrastructure and create jobs for the people of up.
- The UP Government has been pro active in tackling the corona crisis.