Uttar Pradesh 2017

U.P. choice breaks the mould in Modi’s BJP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya in Lucknow after the swearing-in on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

The elevation of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh marks a new pattern in the dynamics of leadership within the BJP, political observers say.

The rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transformed a multi-leader BJP into a party looking upon only one strong leader, but the rise of Adityanath may signal a subtle shift in this pattern, an Allahabad-based academic, Badri Narayan, says.

“Yogi Adityanath is not like the BJP Chief Ministers of Jharkhand or Haryana,” Dr. Narayan told The Hindu. “He is visible, charismatic and assertive. This offers the leadership of the BJP a figure that is likely to dominate the State and have a potential national impact.”

Change in contours

He, however, said that this did not necessarily mean that Adityanath would emerge as a challenger to the national leadership. It certainly meant a change in the contours of party leadership, he said.

While the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand are low-profile figures not belonging to dominant communities in the State, Adityanath is not just the mahant (head priest) of the famous Gorakhnath temple but also a Thakur.


The Thakur caste is one of the most influential in the State, and Adityanath is known to be someone who does not mince words.

However, his powerful personality means raised expectations within the core Hindutva constituency.


Even as he towers over it, his Council of Ministers does mark an outreach towards both the upper castes — the party’s core base — and the Other Backward Classes.

“Our Prime Minister believes in Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas [With all, development for all] and the U.P. Council of Ministers reflects this social outreach and balance. It has ensured wide social representation,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told The Hindu.

Outreach to upper castes

A look at the names suggests a clear outreach to upper castes and non-Yadav OBCs, who supported the BJP in good measure.

Of the two deputies of Adityanath, Dinesh Sharma is a Brahmin and Keshav Maurya an OBC.

Even among the Ministers, there is a mix of these castes. The names, however, suggest just one Yadav and one Muslim in the mix.

A power-packed Cabinet

A 44-member Council of Ministers was sworn in along with Yogi Adityanath as CM and two Deputy Chief Ministers in Lucknow

Key Ministers

Surya Pratap Shahi

- Former U.P. BJP president

- Former Minister in KJalyan Singh's Cabinet

- Three-time MLA


Rita Bahuguna Joshi

- A heavyweight in U.P. politics

- Former U.P. Congress president

- MLA from Lucknow Cantonment


S.P.Singh Baghel

- Was a three-time MP from Samajwadi Party

- BJP's backward morcha president

- A Dalit MLA from Tundla in Firozabad


Siddharth Nath Singh

- MLA from Allahabad West

- National secretary of BJP

- Is the grandson of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri


Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi

- MLA from Allahabad

- Was a former Minister in the BSP government

- Former Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Allahabad

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2022 11:27:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-2017/up-choice-breaks-the-mould-in-modis-bjp/article17533344.ece

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