The suspense on who will lead India’s largest state got over today after the BJP picked Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
The decision was taken after a meeting at 4 PM at Lok Bhawan that saw central observers – Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, BJP vice-president Om Mathur, state party chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and other senior party leaders in full attendance. A formal announcement is yet to happen on this development.
Here are five things about the firebrand BJP leader who may take charge of India’s most populous state:
1) A long-time BJP MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath is also the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple in the eastern UP city. Adityanath has been winning the Gorakhpur seat in UP since 1998; at 26, he was the youngest MP in the 12th Lok Sabha.
2) The fifth-term Lok Sabha member is the mascot of the party’s Hindutva-wrapped agenda of development.
3) The firebrand leader, known for his clout in east UP districts surrounding Gorakhpur, Adityanath was the second most sought-after campaigner in the state in the assembly elections after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
4) In 2002, Yogi Adityanath founded the Hindu Yuva Vahini. Labelled a socio-cultural outfit, its volunteers were known to use strong-arm tactics in riots, cow-protection drives and to stop ‘love jihad’. HYV has its presence across Gorakhpur, Mau, Deoria, Kushinagar.