Yogi Will Prove To Be Modi’s Nemesis Just Like Modi Was Vajpayee’s
Even as Shah and Modi watch the lower castes and Dalits drift away, they have to echo, “UP mein rehna hoga, toh Yogi Yogi kehna hoga.
For Yogi Adityanath, the Muslim-baiting-mahant-turned-Mukhya Mantri of Uttar Pradesh, the rule of law is elastic. It can be stretched and snapped at will.
Adityanath, who currently runs what all of UP describes as “Thakur Raj”, has surrounded himself with officials of the same caste as him in plum posts. He has zero administrative experience except running a vigilante army, the Hindu Yuva Vahini, and the affairs of the Gorakhnath math in Gorakhpur.
Adityanath has now been publicly called out by Dalit BJP MPs for helming a casteist administration ever since his surprise anointment as CM more than a year ago. Chief Minister Adityanath feels power is such a wonderful thing that, with a stroke of his mighty pen, he has begun withdrawing cases lodged against his own self in a simple case of CM Adityanath deciding that Yogi Adityanath had done no wrong.
Adityanath is facing serious criminal cases, including rioting, assault with a deadly weapon, attempt to murder, trespassing on burial places and criminal intimidation. In May last year, soon after coming to power, the new government denied permission to try Adityanath in the 2007 Gorakhpur riots case. Adityanath, who has taken an oath to uphold the rule of law and the Indian Constitution, has twice demonstrated his utter contempt for it.
The Unnao rape survivor, a minor, who alleged BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger raped her, was forced to demonstrate outside Adityanath’s residence. Her father, allegedly thrashed by the MLA’s goons before he was jailed, died in police custody with 99 wounds to his body and fatal damage to his intestines.
Senger, also a Thakur, is a Samajwadi Party defector and a protégé of the notorious Raja Bhaiyya. He continues to roam free, wearing a sleazy smirk on his face, and even posed for photographs before meeting the CM yesterday.
The fact that cops have been arrested for the “custodial death” while the alleged rapist is roaming free speaks reams about Adityanath’s version of rule of law for the upper caste.
Despite the opprobrium he was facing today—Adityanath is usually proud of criticism by, what he calls, the “sickluar beemaar” (secular ill people)—his government, in a brazen move, withdrew rape and abduction charges against a former junior home minister, Swami Chinmayanand, who has long enjoyed the CM’s patronage.
The encounter raj unleashed by Adityanath has not only sent a chilling message to the state’s lower castes and minorities, it has also emboldened the BJP’s core upper caste voter base.
The trend of Hindu Yuva Vahini supporters driving around Gorakhpur with their number plates flaunting ‘YOGI’ in place of the registration number is now witnessed across the state. The message is clear: Don’t mess with the upper castes. And Adityanath is both, the medium as well the messenger.
The loss in the Gorakhpur and Phoolpur by-elections seems to have only emboldened him to go for broke. From running a shambolic administration, he has now ensured near anarchy as he sticks to his communal and inflammatory agenda.
Right from the day he assumed office, Adityanath has given in to his communal and vigilante priorities. The oddly named “anti-Romeo squad” (a dog whistle to his favourite recurring theme of love jihad) is an example. So are the moves to shut down abattoirs “to protect the holy cow” and the push in funding for Kailash Yatra. UP’s primitive health care, agrarian distress, imploding law and order and dismal power situation do not seem to concern him one bit.
UP is one of India’s largest but also among its most backward states. Its human development indices are abysmal and the situation is worsening under an inept administration.
Bijli, sadak, pani (power, roads, water) don’t matter to Adityanath. The death of over 60 children in a horrific tragedy in the BRD hospital in the constituency that voted him to Lok Sabha five times did not matter a jot to Adityanath.
He, of course, cannot be removed as the CM because it would mean upsetting BJP’s core constituency, one that votes for the anti-Muslim and anti-lower caste priorities. So even as Shah and Modi watch the lower castes and Dalits drift away, they have to echo, “UP mein rehna hoga, toh Yogi Yogi kehna hoga.”
Mark my words: Just like Vajpayee always blamed Modi and the Gujarat riots for losing a general election, Yogi Adityanath will prove to be Modi’s nemesis.