Despite his divisive and strong pro-hindutva image, 44-year-old Yogi Adityanath was chosen over Shahjahanpur MLA Suresh Khanna, Lucknow mayor Dinesh Sharma, UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Manoj Sinha.
With Yogi Adityanath at the helm of affairs, the next BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is likely to do the following seven things on priority.
SHUT DOWN SLAUGHTERHOUSES
During the election campaign, BJP leaders including party president Amit Shah and Yogi Adtiyanath raised the issue of illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP has attacked the abbatoirs for allegedly slaughtering cows. No evidence was put forth, but the BJP leaders at local levels kept saying that cows were illegally slaughtered at such places.
The party promised to shut down slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh in its manifesto. Yogi Adityanath has, himself, been vocal about the closure of slaughterhouses and so, this could be on priority for his government.
RAM TEMPLE AT AYODHYA
The BJP promised in the last Assembly election, like it has done in every poll since the Ayodhya movement led by LK Advani, that it would take concrete steps to build the Ram Temple in Ayodhya at the site, where Ram Lalla temple has been erected after the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992.
Yogi Adityanath has said it many times that with or without Supreme Court’s decision, he is in favour of building a ‘grand temple’ at Ayodhya.
The chants of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ could be heard everywhere from the BJP supporters in Uttar Pradesh soon after reports came out that Yogi Adityanath was elected as the Chief Minister-designate.
A WHITE PAPER ON KAIRANA
The BJP has alleged that there has been mass exodus of Hindus from Kairana in western Uttar Pradesh, which witnessed communal clashes 2012-13 onwards.
Yogi Adtiyanath wanted the Centre’s intervention in Uttar Pradesh raising Kairana at various platforms.
During the election campaign, BJP president Amit Shah had promised a white paper on the exodus of Hindus from Kairana if the party was elected in Uttar Pradesh.
For over the past three years, the BJP has raised the issue of love-jihad in Uttar Pradesh, accusing Muslim youths of luring Hindu girls with false promises and changed identities.
None of the allegations levelled and incidents cited by BJP leaders as proof of love-jihad could be proved correct. But, the allegations have continued till recently.
Yogi Adityanath, himself, has been very vocal about the allegations. During the Uttar Pradesh election, Yogi reiterated his promise to set up a Romeo Squad to tackle the ‘threat of love-jihad’.
KABRISTAN AND SHAMSHAAN
At an election rally in Bahraich, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Samajwadi Party government, which was voted out in the polls, of practising discrimination in power supply and providing state help to villages on the basis of religion.
Modi said, if a village has a kabristan, it must have shamshaan also. His statement was seen as polarising voters in the middle of elections. But, the BJP defended the remark.
The BJP leaders dig out data from the state government’s record to prove that more aids were given for kabristan than shamshaan in Uttar Pradesh. PM Modi talked of extending equal help from the administration, they said.
Yogi Adityanath may be doing the same by reducing the grant for kabristan if it (government) cannot provide similar aids for shamshaan as most Hindus prefer to cremate the dead bodies along the banks of rivers.
RAISE TRIPLE TALAQ
The battle of triple talaq is being fought in the Supreme Court. But, the BJP has used the issue both to attack Islamic clerics and defenders of personal law against the idea of having a uniform civil code.
After the stupendous victory in Uttar Pradesh election, the BJP leaders claimed that they got support from Muslim women, who were with the party on the question of triple talaq.
The state government cannot do much with regard to triple talaq as the matter is seized with the apex court and also because if a legislation is required for doing away with the practice, the law can be passed by Parliament. But, Yogi Adtiyanath’s government can raise the bogey time and again to serve its political purpose.
FARMERS’ LOAN WAIVER
While everything else up the sleeves of Yogi Adityanath will come from the basket of the hard-core Hindutva ideology, the government is expected to move forward and set up a committee on loan waiver of the farmers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised it during the election campaign. BJP chief Amit Shah said during his first interview after victory in Uttar Pradesh at the India Today Conclave 2017 that a decision would be taken in this regard.