BJP eyes 2019 through Yogi Adityanath

UP gets CM: Decision, insiders say, a well-crafted strategy

BJP eyes 2019 through Yogi Adityanath

For many, Yogi Adityanath’s nomination as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh may have come as a surprise, but for the saffron party insiders it is a “well-crafted strategy”.

The move, according to sources, is to counter a possible Bihar-like ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) in the state in the next big battle in 2019.

Adityanath, who wields considerable influence on the Hindus, especially in a dozen districts around Gorakhpur through the famous Gorakshnath Peeth, was likely to be the hindutva face of the saffron party in the state in the next Lok Sabha elections.

“While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will continue to harp on development, Adityanath will act as a polarising force in the state,” said media analyst Bal Govind Verma. The slogans of ‘Jai Sri Ram’, that reverberated in the air outside the venue where the BJP legislators elected Adityanath, were reflective of the apprehensions to this effect.

“Yogiji ayenge, Ram Mandir banwayenge” (Yogiji will come and get Ram Temple constructed), shouted a saffron-clad supporter of Adityanath, who had arrived here from Ayodhya.

Many BJP leaders here said that Adityanath had been chosen keeping in mind a possible alliance in the state between the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party to take on the saffron party in 2019.

“There is a possibility of a Bihar-like grand alliance in UP... the Opposition has no other way to counter the BJP... we may require a person like Adityanath to take on such an alliance,” remarked a state BJP leader here. The leader pointed out that in the just concluded Assembly polls, Adityanath showed his oratory skills and crowd-pulling ability.

“Yogi Adityanath addressed election rallies in every corner in the state and drew large crowds,” he added.

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