Lucknow, March 20: As soon as the Bharatiya Janata Party announced the name of priest-turned-politician Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, the party's top leadership stood united in defending the controversial politician, infamous for his communal rhetoric.
The two explanations on which the saffron party is trying hard to protect their 'naughty guy'--as author Chetan Bhagat addressed the new CM of Uttar Pradesh in a tweet--are the BJP's core 'developmental agenda' and 'give Adityanath a chance to prove his critics wrong'.
After Adityanath's swearing-in ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra 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."
On Monday, union minister Venkaiah Naidu told reporters, "Yogi Adityanathji will care for all sections of people and will prove critics wrong. He will become one of the most successful chief ministers."
Since Saturday, a long list of leaders including veteran Murli Manohar Joshi have been trying to defend Adityanath as critics slammed the BJP for choosing a rabble-rouser mahant (head priest) of the Gorakhnath Mutt and a five-time BJP Member of Parliament from the Gorakhpur constituency.
No matter how much the BJP gives explanations in defence of the 44-year-old leader, his communal statements and criminal track record fail to convince voters. Right from his comments of 'raping Muslim women' to the self-declaration of criminal records which include charges of murder and rioting in front of the Election Commission--the Hindutva poster represents everything the BJP promised to fight against during the campaign of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
It looks like the BJP is eyeing politics of polarisation during the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, when PM Modi will once again stake his claim to become the prime minister of the country for the second time in a row.