Dissent an obstacle for this CM aspirant

Dissent an obstacle for this CM aspirant

Dissent an obstacle for this CM aspirant

The BJP may not have projected anyone for the post of the chief minister in the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, but the chief ministerial ambition of saffron leader and party MP Yogi Adityanath is an open secret.

The ‘mahant’ (chief) of the Gorakhnath Temple in the town, situated around 275 km from Lucknow, Yogi Adityanath wields considerable influence on lakhs of disciples of Guru Gorakshnath, the founder of the Nath monastic movement in India, in Gorakhpur and its adjoining districts.

The powerful yogi, however, faces a tough challenge this time not only from his political rivals, but also from his own disciples. The disciples, who are a part of his ‘private outfit’, the Hindu Yuva Vahini, have rebelled against the BJP and have entered the fray as independents.

Interestingly, the rebels continue to swear an oath of allegiance to Adityanath, though the yogi has expelled them from the outfit. “We want to see Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has meted out a step-motherly treatment towards him. Many of his supporters were denied tickets,” said Sunil Singh, the expelled president of the Vahini. The Vahini has put up candidates in as many as six seats in the district, which spoils Yogi Adityanath’s plan to ensure victory to the saffron party nominees.

Despite the dissension, his loyalists are certain that the BJP candidates will emerge victorious. “People here revere the Gorakhnath Temple. They are deeply associated with it and Mahantji enjoys respect from all,” said Prashant Shukla, a local.

Neglecting development

Yogi Adityanath’s rivals, however, accuse him of “neglecting” the developmental needs of the town. “The roads are full of potholes. Traffic congestion is a perpetual problem,” said Ramnath Yadav, a resident of Sahjanwan on the outskirts of the city.

The Congress-SP alliance and the BSP have fielded candidates here with an eye on the caste equation. The SP has fielded former minister Ram Bhual Nishad, who hails from the community of boatmen, and is contesting from the Chillupar constituency. Similarly, a Nishad community leader is in the fray on an SP ticket, and is contesting from the Pipraich constituency in the district.