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Tripura win raises Yogi Adityanath’s profile further in BJP

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath, along with BJP’s Tripura in-charge Sunil Deodhar and party’s national general secretary Ram Madhav, was a key element of the party’s Tripura plan chalked out by party chief Amit Shah, say BJP leaders

lucknow Updated: Mar 04, 2018 19:03 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh chief minister,Yogi Adityanath,Tripura
BJP leaders celebrating party’s Tripura victory at party office on Saturday. (HT Photo)

Soon after it became clear that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was all set to breach the left citadel in Tripura, chief minister Yogi Adityanath immediately got in touch with Sunil Deodhar, the BJP’s Tripura in-charge, even as party’s UP unit celebrated BJP’s success in the north east.

Adityanath along with Deodhar and party’s national general secretary Ram Madhav was a key element of the party’s Tripura plan chalked out by party chief Amit Shah, say BJP leaders.

Of the three north eastern states of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya that went to the polls, the BJP got Adityanath to campaign extensively in Tripura alone.

That’s because Adityanath, the head priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt, belongs to the Nath sect that has a huge following in the north eastern state. It’s to tap this following that Adityanath had strategically launched his poll campaign in Tripura with a visit to Gorakhnath temple at Padmapur on the outskirts of Dharmanagar where he had performed a puja on February 12.

“He addressed 7 public meetings and was part of four road shows in two days that covered nearly 20 Vidhan Sabha constituencies. What we gather, the party has won in at least 17 of them so far,” said Adityanath’s advisor Mrityunjay Kumar while talking of Tripura’s high voltage campaign that was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After launching his poll campaign with a puja at Padmapur on the outskirts of Dharmanagar, he had gone on to attend pujas in Matarbari, Udaipur temple, Gorakhnath temple at Majlishpur in what appeared to be a clever play of Hindutva push by the saffron clad politician in the left citadel, party leaders admit.

BJP leaders, who also hailed the role played by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, claimed nearly 70 per cent of the non-Muslim population in Tripura was associated with Yogi’s Nath sect in one way or the other.

Bhagaban Das, who won on BJP ticket from Pabiachhara assembly constituency, was among those partymen in Tripura for whom Yogi had campaigned. “Yogiji’s Nath sect is influential in the state. Though its followers are not as much in Pabiachhara as they are elsewhere, still it’s undeniable that Yogiji’s meeting helped me. All in all it’s a dream victory for the party and proof of leadership of PM Modi and Amit Shah,” he said on phone from Tripura.

“People listened to him both as a politician and as a mahant of a sect that commands decent following in Tripura,” said UP BJP leader Chandramohan.

Interestingly, the BJP good show in north eastern states has come just before the party faces by-polls in UP on March 11, including one on Yogi Adityanath’s political turf of Gorakhpur.

As trends firmed up, Adityanath’s twitter handle was active. The monk chief minister praised Modi and Shah’s leadership and hailed Tripura’s win as historic.

Later in a brief interaction with media, Adityanath emphasised on party’s Tripura win, describing it as a spectacular outcome of party chief Amit Shah’s election management skills.

“PM Modi’s appeal and Shah’s election management worked wonders,” Yogi said. Modi is expected to address party cadres in Delhi on its north east win and Yogi along with Shah are expected to be there then.

BJP leaders admit that Tripura outcome has further increased Yogi’s ratings in the BJP that had also used him to campaign extensively in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala along with Tripura, where he had urged the voters to oust the left government for ‘non performance.’ Adityanath is also set to campaign in Congress-ruled Karnataka.

Asked if Yogi helped polarise the situation in Tripura for the BJP, UP BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, “Yogiji has now been used in most of the elections that BJP has fought outside UP. There are subtexts in each victory but the win merely showcases that Modiji’s leadership and Shah’s planning stay unmatched. We are now well and truly on course for 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” Pathak said.

First Published: Mar 04, 2018 19:03 IST