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What’s in a name? Confusion, when it comes to UP CM Yogi Adityanath

Just what is the Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s name? It has already been changed thrice. While officials are not willing to comment on the name change, his followers are not bothered about how it is spelt.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2017 16:24 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal and Manish Chandra Pandey
UP chief minister,Adityanath,Name change
Yogi Adityanath taking oath as the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow, on March 19, 2017. (Reuters File)

Chief ministers in the past have experimented with their names like former Tamil Nadu CM late J Jayalalithaa adding an extra ‘a’ or West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee adding an extra letter for a while.

But in case of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Aditya Nath ‘Yogi’... errr, Yogi Aditya Nath it has been more than just a letter. The name plate outside his 5 Kalidas Marg residence has been regularly changing in the last 10 days since he became the chief minister.

Changed thrice from Yogi Adityanath to Aditya Nath Yogi to the latest Yogi Aditya Nath just before he made an official entry to his 5 Kalidas Marg residence on the first day of Navratra – the nine day period considered auspicious by Hindus.

Before he was sworn in as the chief minister on March 19 the name plate read: Yogi Aditya Nath with ‘Yogi’ written in smaller fonts than the rest.

But at the swearing-in ceremony he called himself Aditya Nath Yogi.

Subsequent press notes that were sent from the information department didn’t help matters as some of them referred to him as Aditya Nath Yogi while others described him as Yogi Aditya Nath. His verified twitter handle says myogiadityanath. His Facebook account says Yogi Adityanath. None of his election affidavit used Yogi at all.

In all the elections affidavits he has mentioned his name without using Yogi. But in affidavits too there are variations in his name.

Some say Aditya Nath while others say Adityanath. Technically it is two words: Aditya Nath. Aditya is his first name. Nath is a separate word that denotes the Nath sect to which the chief minister, who is also the head priest of Gorakhnath Mutt, belongs.

“For us it doesn’t matter how his name is being spelled. We know him as ‘chhotey Maharaj’ and that’s what he is to us. Many also call him ‘Baba’ while others still call him as Mahantji,” an aide told HT. No official was willing to comment on the CM’s name-change with one describing it as a “personal issue”.

First Published: Mar 29, 2017 15:34 IST