The decision of Yogi Adityanath to contest in the next assembly elections from Gorakhpur is not the result of a choice taken by a couple of party leaders, but rather of the local populace’s demand and Yogi’s determination to the development of the once-underdeveloped region of Eastern Uttar Pradesh. His concern for the upliftment of the downtrodden and his unwavering devotion to public service can be traced back to the late 1990s.
When Yogi Adityanath was elected from Gorakhpur in 1998, he was the youngest member of the 12th Lok Sabha, at the age of 26. He has been the Member of Parliament for the same constituency for five consecutive terms till 2017 when he was appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. This silences those who are calling his contestation from Gorakhpur as a safe bet, as the decision owes to the goodwill of the people of Gorakhpur and the neighbouring districts, whose lives have flourished since Yogi Adityanath entered active politics.
No one is unaware of how UP was perceived several years ago. A state situated along the Ganga basin and rich in natural resources had the worst infrastructure and a dreadful state of public services a few years ago. And this awful state of affairs was the product of years of negligent leadership and vote-bank-oriented policies, rather than any “Act of God.” Eastern Uttar Pradesh was long regarded as an area prone to flooding during the monsoon season and rife with extremely contagious illnesses that spread on a regular basis.
When Yogi Adityanath took over as Chief Minister, he inherited a state that was falling behind in every category, whether it was road connectivity or health infrastructure. The community did not even anticipate electricity to be available on a regular basis. People were accustomed to power outages. The situation in the western half of the state was better due to people’s prosperity, which was also a result of previous governments’ leaders putting more emphasis on that region. Everyone around the country can discern the transformation Yogi Adityanath has brought to Uttar Pradesh since gaining power.
Since the Yogi Government came to office, UP has scored substantially higher in all areas, including highway construction and ease of doing business. In the Leads ranking, Uttar Pradesh is ahead of states like Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. This is essentially due to increasing investment opportunities in the state as a result of better law and order as well as commercial ease. The announcement of a number of Medical Colleges to be built in the coming years demonstrates the state’s vision to upgrade its health infrastructure. The work of the incumbent government has thoroughly satisfied the people of Uttar Pradesh. People who are attempting to incite unrest among the public are those who have lost their bread as a consequence of stringent anti-corruption policies introduced by the Yogi government.
Also, portraying Muslim displeasure as a result of so-called “populist policies” is a deception used by anti-development forces and opposition parties to divert attention away from the development agenda and instigate communal division to their advantage. For example, when the Yogi government came down hard on those creating violence during the anti-CAA riots, the opposition and the left ecosystem was quick to claim that Yogi Adityanath was being “communal”. It was almost as if they wanted him to not take action against violent forces and restore law and order because the chaos benefitted the opposition and therefore if the perpetrators were from the Muslim community, the trope of communalism would help the chaos continue.
Surprisingly, the Muslim population of Gorakhpur and its neighbouring districts, such as Deoria, Kushinagar, Basti, and Maharajganj, is delighted that Yogi was elected CM of UP because, despite the opposition’s instigated apprehension about their treatment after the formation of the BJP government, they are in far better condition than they expected to be under previous governments. While it is true that the Muslim community will perhaps never vote for BJP en masse, it is true that the Yogi government itself has ensured that it works for the development of the entire state.
Yogi Adityanath had in 2020 described his state of mind and manner of functioning adequately when he said that as a Hindu, he will not enter a mosque, but as a Chief Minister, he does not discriminate against the people he governs. For the ‘liberals’, this sentiment is one that is beyond their realm of understanding. While the Chief Minister works for the populace without fear or favour, the Yogi is free to follow his religious identity and wear it proudly.
In fact, not only eastern UP has benefitted from the policies of the incumbent government but the western region has also benefitted extensively. Whether it be the announcement of a world-class film city or making Noida into a global level manufacturing hub, policies by the Yogi government are strongly committed to the development of the state as a whole. Frequent visits of CM Yogi to Noida has bolstered the confidence of the companies planning to invest in the region.
Parvez Ansari, a local shopkeeper from Deoria said “It is this government which has provided us excellent facilities. There was a two-lane road from Deoria to Gorakhpur and now it is made four-lane by Yogiji. We were referred to BRD medical college for any serious health issue but now medical college is being built in Deoria. We get electricity 24 hours and all the roads in the city and adjoining towns have street lights. We are happy that Yogiji became CM. We will vote for him again. He will surely win.”
Speaking on Yogi’s contestation from Gorakhpur, Sanjay Singh, BJP District Vice President from Deoria said “This is the love of people of Gorakhpur which is manifesting in his candidature from Gorakhpur. He has an emotional connection with the people of Gorakhpur and Deoria. Yogiji keeps visiting the Gorakhnath Mandir frequently and keeps connecting with people. And not only a particular section is happy about him contesting from Gorakhpur but every single community including Muslims are committed to voting with ‘Gaurav’ in the upcoming elections. This time Yogiji’s win will be historic.”
Given the fervour with which people are rallying behind their favourite leader, it is logical to think that Yogi Adityanath has emerged as a mass leader and that his campaign from Gorakhpur is motivated by a dedication to the people he considers his family. Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh is poised to play a key part in PM Narendra Modi’s vision of a New India. Uttar Pradesh’s growth will be accelerated thanks to the state’s dual-engine government.