The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh – Shri. Yogi Adityanath
Shri. Yogi Adityanath (born Ajay Mohan Bisht on 5 June 1972) is an Indian monk and Hindu nationalist politician who is the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, in office since 19 March 2017. He has an image as a right-wing populist Hindutva firebrand.
He was appointed as the Chief Minister on 26 March 2017 after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the 2017 State Assembly elections, in which he was a prominent campaigner. He has been the Member of Parliament from the Gorakhpur constituency, Uttar Pradesh for five consecutive terms since 1998. In 2008, his convoy was attacked en route to Azamgarh for an anti-terrorism rally. The attack left one person dead and at least six persons injured. Adityanath is also the Mahant or head priest of the Gorakhnath Math, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur, a position he has held since the death of his spiritual “father”, Mahant Avaidyanath, in September 2014. He is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a youth militia that has been involved in communal violence.
Early Life And Education
Shri. Yogi Adityanath was born as Ajay Mohan Bisht on 5 June 1972 in the village of Panchur, in Pauri Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand). His father Anand Singh Bisht was a forest ranger. He was the second born in the family, among four brothers and three sisters. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand.
He left his home around the 1990s to join the Ayodhya Ram temple movement. He came under the influence of Mahant Avaidyanath, the chief priest of the Gorakhnath Math and became his disciple. Subsequently, he was given the name ‘Yogi Adityanath’ and designated as the successor of the Mahant Avaidyanath. While based in Gorakhpur after his initiation, Adityanath has often visited his ancestral village, establishing a school there in 1998.
Scholar Christophe Jaffrelot states that Yogi Adityanath belongs to a specific tradition of Hindutva politics in Uttar Pradesh that can be traced back to the Mahant Digvijay Nath, who led the capture of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya for Hindus on 22 December 1949. Both Digvijay Nath and his successor, Mahant Avaidyanath, belonged to the Hindu Mahasabha and were elected to the Parliament on that party’s ticket. After the BJP and the Sangh Parivar joined the Ayodhya movement in the 1980s, the two strands of Hindu nationalism came together. Avaidyanath switched to the BJP in 1991, but nevertheless maintained significant autonomy. Yogi Adityanath was appointed Avaidyanath’s successor as the Mahant of Gorakhnath Math in 1994. Four years later, he was elected to the Lower House of the Indian Parliament (the Lok Sabha).
After his first electoral win, Adityanath started his own militant youth wing Hindu Yuva Vahini, which has been known for violent activities in the eastern Uttar Pradesh but was instrumental in Adityanath’s meteoric rise . There have been recurrent tensions between Adityanath and the BJP leadership over the allocation of election tickets. However, the BJP has not let the tensions mount because Adityanath has served as a star campaigner for the party.
In 2006, he took up links between Nepali Maoists and Indian Leftist parties as key campaign issue and encouraged Madhesi leaders to oppose Maoism in Nepal. In 2008, his convoy was attacked en route to Azamgarh for an anti-terrorism rally. The attack left one person dead and at least six persons injured.
Member of Parliament
Shri. Adityanath was the youngest member of the 12th Lok Sabha at 26. He has been elected to the Parliament from Gorakhpur for five consecutive terms (in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections).
Adityanath’s attendance in Lok Sabha was 77% and he has asked 284 questions, participated in 56 debates and introduced three private member Bills in the 16th Lok Sabha.
Chief Minister of UP
He was a prominent campaigner for the BJP in the 2017 assembly elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He was appointed Chief Minister, of the state on Saturday, 18 March 2017 and sworn in the next day on 19 March, after the BJP won the assembly elections. The illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh faced shutdowns from the administration after his becoming the Chief Minister. Yogi ordered the forming of anti-romeo squads. He imposed a blanket ban on cow-smuggling and stay on UPPSC results, exams and interviews till further order. He imposed a ban on tobacco, pan and gutka in government offices across the state and made the officials pledge to devote 100 hours every year for the Swachh Bharat Mission. More than 100 policemen were suspended by the Uttar Pradesh police.
After becoming the CM of UP, he kept around 36 ministries to himself including Home, Housing, Town and country planning department, Revenue, Food and Civil Supplies, Food Security and drug administration, Economics and statistics, Mines and Minerals, Flood control, stamp and registry, prison, general administration, secretariat administration, vigilance, personnel and appointment, information, institutional finance, planning, estate department, urban land, UP state reorganisation committee, administration reforms, programme implementation, national integration, infrastructure, coordination, language, external aided project, Relief and Rehabilitation, Public Service Management, Rent Control, Consumer protection, weights and measures.
In his first cabinet meeting held on 4 April 2017, decision was taken to waive off loans of nearly 87 lakh small and marginal farmers of Uttar Pradesh, amounting to ₹363.59 billion (US$5.7 billion). For India’s Independence Day celebrations in 2017, his government singled-out Muslim religious schools to provide video evidence that their students had sung the Indian national anthem.
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