From Hindutva poster boy to moderate reformer: BJP plans image makeover for Yogi Adityanath?

Reports suggest that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to undergo an image makeover to turn into a moderate reformer.

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Lucknow, March 20: As soon as the Bharatiya Janata Party announced the name of 44-year-old priest-turned-politician Yogi Adityanath as the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, the saffron party faced severe criticism for selecting a man known for his anti-minority politics.

In order to fit Adityanath into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's narrative of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the BJP is planning to give the new Uttar Pradesh CM an image makeover.

Yogi Adityanath

According to a report by Reuters, Adityanath would undergo a complete image makeover to repackage him as a moderate reformer. "A source close to the powerful Hindu nationalist umbrella group to which the BJP belongs, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said Adityanath would undergo a complete image makeover to repackage him as a moderate reformer," reported Reuters.

The Hindutva poster boy, who is the current mahant (head priest) of the Gorakhnath Mutt and a five-time BJP Member of Parliament from the Gorakhpur constituency, was sworn-in as the CM of Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow on Sunday. Almost all the top BJP leaders, including PM Modi, were present in the function. 

The BJP fought the Uttar Pradesh assembly election on the issue of development. Experts say the BJP's 'development agenda' proved 'beneficial' for the party in the northern state as the saffron party won 325 seats in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly.

Thus many say that after a massive win, the BJP is fast forgetting its poll promises which might not go down well with the residents of Uttar Pradesh. Selecting Adityanath as the CM of Uttar Pradesh is a reiteration of the BJP's Hindutva politics, says a journalist.

But it looks like the party is making some smart move by bringing some 'characteristic changes' in the new Uttar Pradesh CM, as the report of Reuters indicates. Immediately after the announcement of Adityanath as the CM, the controversial leader said he would strictly follow PM Modi's mantra of sabka saath, sabka vikas.

After Adityanath's swearing-in ceremony, PM Modi tweeted that the BJP's mission and motive is development. "Our sole mission and motive is development. When UP develops, India develops. We want to serve UP's youth and create opportunities for them."

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