Top
Millennium Post

A strategy for UP

A strategy for UP

Some of the state governments, especially Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh, is on a spree to rename the towns and cities in the state. So far, it has renamed one of the most recognisable railway stations Mughalsarai into Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction. The state government has also secured the Cabinet's nod to rename Faizabad district to Ayodhya. Even as these relatively famous places are being rechristened, many small locations in the state are getting reamed by the locals themselves, often without any official permission. There is a renaissance of sort taking place in the state where old identities of towns and cities are being changed by the new ones. Adityanath, who has a long experience of dealing with a huge number of followers as a religious head of the Gorakhnath Math, is one of the most articulate and convincing speakers in the BJP camp and winning a public debate against him is a rather challenging proposition; most media persons and news anchors would vouch for this. Replying to a question on renaming cities, he once asked why parents do not name their children Ravan or Duryodhan. For the same reason, he wants to change the names that do not suit the country's self-respect, he elaborated. Though he understands how, in the population mix that the country has, it is not possible to alienate the minority communities and that's why he says his ashrams remain open to the people of all faiths. But he tries to make a distinction between being fair to people of all communities in his public dealings and his duty to the nation as a political leader. The Uttar Pradesh politics, like that of Bihar, is dominated by the caste factors and when BJP won the Assembly elections in 2017, it came face to face with one of the toughest questions as to who should be made CM. The equation that it needed to work out was from which caste the CM should come. BJP found an answer in Yogi Adityanath, who virtually did not belong to any caste given his primary role as a priest and preacher. Then, two deputy CMs were picked to represent Dalits and Brahmins, two most politically significant communities in the state, the other two being the Yadavs and the Rajputs or Thakurs. The government has been running smoothly and it has not seen any serious upheavals, so far. But, in the three bye-elections, since Adityanath government came to power, BJP has won none. The caste equations that Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Rashtriya Lok Dal have worked out for themselves are proving too successful for the BJP's comfort. In the last Lok Sabha election, BJP won 71 out of total 80 seats from UP and in view of the importance of the high number of MPs that added up to BJP's overall tally, the state is of critical importance that can make or mar the chances of BJP returning to power at the Centre.

Yogi Adityanath has displayed necessary administrative prowess to run the state which is often called an 'administrative nightmare' given its huge size and population. His government had launched a crackdown on organised crime and criminal syndicates which were successful in instilling fear among criminals, many of them reportedly chose to leave the state and take shelter elsewhere. But besides controlling crime and law and order issues, Adityanth's performance on other fronts such as taking the cleanliness drive to the next level by inspiring people and municipal staff to clean the state, the way he would expect his ashrams to be kept clean and tidy, has nothing much to write home about. The good things about Adityanath are that he is seen as an incorruptible person with a no-nonsense approach. His presence in the current political environment characterised by mud-slinging is inspiring and confidence-boosting. He is philosophically better grounded and has a vision as to what he wants to achieve. But translating his strengths into votes for his party is a crucial area where he needs to show his acumen. If anyone asks him if his drive to change the names of some towns and cities in Uttar Pradesh is aimed at consolidating the vote bank of a particular community, his answer would be in the negative — and, it is hard to win an argument with him. BJP workers in the state must be worried about the party's prospects in the next Lok Sabha election. It is about time Adityanath showed his political side and gave the party workers a poll strategy that is clear and convincing.

Next Story
Share it