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Modi in 2024 will ride on Yogi’s success in 2022: Amit Shah in Lucknow

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Setting the tone for the 2022 assembly polls and 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Amit Shah urged the people of the state to re-elect the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power and Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister in Uttar Pradesh.

By ANUP KUMAR

The attack of the Opposition parties that there is the undeclared and secret feud between the Uttar Pradesh leadership and the Central high command has come to rest. The assuring words have come from the person who has de facto hold of all political activities in the party – Amit Shah — who has kick-started  the poll campaign of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Lucknow for the upcoming Assembly elections. He held that Yogi Adityanath will continue to be the Chief Minister of the state if the party returns to power post 2022 polls.

This also shows the strength of the BJP in managing contradictions, if there is any, in states with impunity. Speculations for change in the Chief Minister began in the months of May and June this year and the Opposition had made it an issue to garner support for themselves. 

Shah declared in clear terms, “Modi ji ke netratva mein agla jo Lok Sabha ka chunav jeetna hai 24 mein (2024), uski neenv daalne ka kaam Uttar Pradesh ka 22 ka (2022) Vidhan Sabha karne waala hai. Yeh main UP ki janata ko batane aaya hoon ki Modi ji ko phir se ek baar 24 mein pradhan mantri banana hai, toh 22 mein phir ek baar Yogi ji ko mukhyamantri banana padega. Tab jaakar desh ka vikas aage badh sakta hai (The 2024 Lok Sabha polls that we have to win under Modi ji’s leadership, the foundation of the same will be laid by the Uttar Pradesh’s 2022 Assembly elections. Let me inform the people of UP that if you want Modi ji to return as Prime Minister in 2024, you must re-elect Yogi ji as CM again in 2022. It's then only that the country can progress).” 

The Home Minister had also launched the mega membership drive across the largest state of India– ‘Mera Parivar – Bhajapa Parivar’ (My family, BJP family). It was held that the membership drive will be carried out on a massive scale and will continue till December 31 of this year. What is astonishing is that Ajay Kumar Mishra, Union Minister of State for Home who continues to be surrounded by the controversies of Lakhimpur Kheri and whose constituency happens to be in the Awadh region was also present on the stage with Shah, Yogi and other Union Ministers. 

In a major show of strength in the massive rally, Amit Shah lambasted the Opposition parties for fermenting nepotism over decades. He held that the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress were ‘parivarwadi’ parties that simply can’t work for the welfare of the 22 crore people who dwell in the state; hence, the leadership of both Modi and Yogi is essential. Amit Shah also reiterated the usual charge of the saffron party that both Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati did political work to engage with the public, kept sitting at home and simply waiting for the people to vote them to power. He held that Akhilesh Yadav was missing when calamities by Covid and the floods took place in the state; he was spending time in foreign. 

The Home Minister was also quick to recount the development works done by the UP Chief Minister and the impact it has made on the lives of the commoners. He added that Adityanath and his team had fulfilled more than 90 per cent of the promises made in the 2017 poll manifesto and the rest of the promises would be fulfilled in the remaining next two months of the government. 

The Uttar Pradesh government takes pride in the improved law and order situation in the state. The Home Minister chose not to miss on the point. He said that it looked impossible five years ago that the state can be so safe and secure; all credit to the Chief Minister. He accused the SP and BSP of ‘destroying’ the state in terms of its law and order. Shah recounted the exodus of the Hindu families from Kairana in western parts of the state under the previous Akhilesh Yadav Government and claimed that women were also afraid to step out of home when the musclemen flourished. “Today, no one can force anybody into an exodus in Uttar Pradesh. I cannot spot a single mafia in the state even through binoculars,” he added. He also mentioned that over 150 dreaded criminals were killed in encounters in the BJP government.

The BJP has been focusing on the revivalism of the Indian culture. Amit Shah apprised in the rally that for the first time since the Mughal rule, the state has got back its real identity that is visible in Baba Vishwanath, birthplace of Sri Ram and Krishna. He also coined the slogan for the elections– ‘ek baar phir se 300 paar (once again, 300 plus seats).’ 

Om Prakash, a farmer in the interiors of Kaushambi district of the state, maintains, “Modi factor also depends largely on the governance of the state governments that are run by the BJP. If the benefits through Central and state government schemes do not flow to the people, the charisma of a leader will not last long; we have seen how strong leaders like Indira and Rajeev have fallen. Yogi has been able to provide benefits to the last man standing in the queue.”  

Contradictions in Shah’s statements

Uttar Pradesh’s 80 Lok Sabha seats will definitely decide who has better chances of coming to power in the Centre and if Yogi sweeps the state for the BJP again, Modi’s return will become easy. But many do not believe in Amit Shah’s statement that Modi’s route to Delhi in 2024 will go through Yogi’s re-anointment in 2022. 

Jyotish Singh, who closely watches politics in the state, says, “Modi has a deeper understanding about the Indian society – just like the kind of understanding our founding fathers had. If you remember, when the Opposition was honking on the heads of the Centre over the demonetisation and was more than sure that the BJP will be ousted, the Uttar Pradesh results were something else. Similarly, BJP lost three states – Rajashthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh – just six months before the general elections in 2019. When Modi said during his electoral campaign that BJP will get more seats than 2014 (i.e. more than 282 seats), there was seldom a man who wouldn’t laugh at him. But Modi turned out to be true. Hence, his victory in 2024 doesn’t depend on Yogi; although I think that the BJP has stuck to textbook governance and has delivered benefits to people and it looks like it should return in power.” 

Even if one looks at the performance of the BJP then one would find that in 2017, the impact of Yogi Adityanath hovered around Gorakhpur and it was Modi and Amit Shah’s strategy that got them a massive 40 per cent votes and 312 seats in the Assembly of 403 seats. Then in the 2019 general elections, Modi got more than half the votes polled in the state which means that no matter what was opposition unity – Mahagathbandhan– the saffron party was destined to sweep the polls. 

On the other hand, Yogi has emerged as a leader of his class with mass appeal and acceptance; he, unlike many BJP Chief Ministers, doesn’t depend on Modi’s electoral charisma to succeed. “Voters see him as a proud Hindu leader, a development man and a politician who is aloof of any kind of corruption. In case there is any trouble in the state party or the government, the Chief Minister is wise enough to douse it in time– as the one happened with Keshav Prasad Maurya, his deputy CM,” adds Jyotish Singh. Political pundits largely believe that both leaders – Modi and Yogi – are BJP’s USP. Let there be no doubt for now.


Cultural Revivalism

Uttar Pradesh Government is on the path of cultural revivalism in the state. Two things are noticeable that have just happened – Deepotsava at Ayodhya and the change of name of the railway station from Faizabad Junction to now Ayodhya Cantt. 

More than 12 lakh earthen lamps or diyas were lit up on the majestic fronts of river Sarayu and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed the occasion. This was the fifth edition of Deepotsava. The lamps were accompanied by fireworks. A day before the festival of Diwali, a massive and eye-catching laser light show was organised by the government at Ram Ki Paidi Ghat of Sarayu which showcased themes from The Ramayana where thousands flocked to catch a glimpse of it. The Chief Minister declared that about 500 pilgrimage sites and temples will be developed in the coming years that will include the famous sites of Ram Janmabhoomi and Kashi Vishwanath temples. 

On November 2, the name of Faizabad Junction was changed to Ayodhya Cantt by the government. People remembered how on the same date in the year 1990, several kar sevaks were killed in the same very city in the police firing when Mulayam Singh Yadav was heading the government. He got the name of ‘Mullah Mulayam.’ In 2018, Faizabad district’s name was also changed to Ayodhya.

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