LUCKNOW: With five states already into polls and the big battle for 2019 barely months away, BJP has set its electoral hopes on the twin planks of development and Hindutva. While PM Narendra Modi is leading the development pitch, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath is gradually emerging as the torch-bearer of the aggressive Hindutva stance that the saffron camp would likely take along in the general elections.
While Modi keeps mum on issues such as the Ram temple and the renaming spree in his public meetings, Yogi is on the fast track to revive Ram temple narrative, changing of names of cities, districts, divisions and promoting ‘Kumbh Mela’ like never before. He is supported by Sangh outfits, which even utilised the Supreme Court’s observation that Ayodhya was not a priority issue and can be deferred till January next year, to raise the religious passions.
The way Ram Mandir has been made to rule the political landscape of the country during the last one month, with VHP, Shiv Sena, Togadia, and above all RSS echoing concern over the temple construction, the tone for 2019 seems to be set for the BJP.
“This is the role for which Yogi Adityanath was chosen by the RSS and BJP brass to lead country’s most crucial state politically,” said a political observer who feels that Yogi is in his elements while taking his party’s agenda forward.
Yogi, after assuming charge as CM, kept frequenting to Ayodhya, even offering prayers at the makeshift temple at the disputed site. He announced mega projects, including a statue of Lord Ram in the temple town. The CM proceeded steadily by turning ‘ardh kumbh’ into Kumbh and then renaming Mughalsarai junction as Deen Dayal Upadhaya and Allahabad as Praygaraj. The spree didn’t end there as Faizabad was renamed Ayodhya.
“It is not surprising as it is a calculated and well thought out line taken by Yogi Adityanath who has been an aggressive Hinduvta face of the BJP,” said a senior BSP leader.
However, a senior Samajwadi Party leader said, “As he has not done anything concrete for development during the last 19 months, he is trying to hide behind the issue of temple and Hindutva.”