Uttar pradesh

With U.P. victory, Adityanath is first among equals among BJP CMs

Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, addresses his party supporters during an election campaign rally in Sambhal district. File

Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, addresses his party supporters during an election campaign rally in Sambhal district. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday created a record of sorts by not just breaking the pattern of alternation in the State that had set in three decades ago but also by becoming the first Chief Minister of the State from the BJP to complete a full five-year term. The BJP also increased its vote share in the State from 39.7% in the 2017 Assembly polls to around 42% (counting was still on at the time of writing) in 2022.

U.P. Election Results 2022 updates 

As per information from Mr. Adityanath's office, he did 207 rallies and roadshows and even before the announcement of poll dates, visited 90 Assembly constituencies considered "weak" by the BJP. Quite obviously, he has worked hard for this victory, and unlike in 2017, when there was no chief ministerial face for the BJP as it went into polls, this one had him at the helm.

The surprise pick

The two records have assured him a place in the political history of the State and firmly placed him in the firmament of top leaders of the BJP. This will have an impact on the internal power dynamics of the party, but in what way? He was the surprise pick as Chief Minister in 2017, and hadn’t, as others had, been schooled in the RSS-BJP school of political training. He was a seer associated with the Gorakhnath Peeth, and a Member of Parliament for Gorakhpur, an area where the Peeth held sway over public life for decades.

He has, of course, been prodded to the front row of the BJP pantheon in the last few years. In the national executive of the party held in New Delhi last year, he was the only Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled State who spoke introducing the political resolution. He has, therefore, been marked for bigger things, but how soon, and in what way?

Political scientist Rahul Verma with the Centre for Policy Research says that the win in Uttar Pradesh places Mr. Adityanath as a first among equals among the BJP Chief Ministers, at the Centre of BJP politics though, he may yet have to wait. "It is true that the BJP's victory in U.P. is against the weight of history, and will have a resonance across the country and within the BJP's organisational structure too, but it is still too soon to see him enter the circle of trust of the top two in the BJP - Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah as a possible third force. Prime Minister Modi also waited out two terms that he won under his own steam, before making that move," he noted.

Modi still the biggest draw

Party insiders say that while the U.P. win was very important, the fact that this is a 4-1 victory for the BJP, with governments set to be in place in Uttarakhand, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and possibly Goa, shows that Mr. Modi is still the biggest draw as far as voters are concerned, and that Mr. Shah's tight control over the party organisation and election planning is still the mainstay of Central and Assembly elections.

"There were many attempts to paint this is election as one that would create a competition at the Centre and U.P. as far as power equations within the party are concerned, but the fact that it has won nearly all the States where it had stakes showed that the top two is still our winning combo. What will happen in the future, however, is unknown," said a senior BJP office-bearer.

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Printable version | Mar 10, 2022 3:46:00 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-assembly/with-up-victory-adityanath-is-first-among-equals-among-bjp-cms/article65210643.ece