The elevation of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh took many by surprise. There were a lot of factors that went into Yogi being appointed as the CM. The vote share of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the recently concluded assembly elections was 40 per cent whereas the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress together got a 52 per cent vote share.
If the opposition decides to unite for the 2019 elections, then the BJP may face problems. Hence Yogi's appointment could be a preemptive strike to beat a united opposition. The BJP is pushing for a development agenda coupled with Hindutva to counter the opposition.
Yogi's appointment as CM may have been surprising for many. However, the manner in which the BJP won the UP elections only showed that it was a mandate for both development and Hindutva. In such an event, Yogi's appointment was hardly surprising at all. The BJP won big in most of the Muslim-dominated areas of UP and this was a result of a consolidation of Hindu votes. Yogi's appointment as CM sends a clear message out to the Hindus of UP that the BJP is keen on pushing its Hindutva agenda coupled with development.
The BJP is aware that the Muslims in UP will not be supporting the party anytime soon. Although, it was said that many Muslims had in fact voted for the BJP, there is no evidence to prove the same. The Muslim votes split between the SP and BSP, and in the bargain, the Hindu voters voted in large numbers for the BJP.
One more key aspect that Adityanath, despite his controversial remarks, is a five-time parliamentarian. He is a serious lawmaker with an attendance of 77 per cent in the Lok Sabha. Moreover, he has asked 284 questions in the Lok Sabha, moved three private bills and debated 54 issues.
Yogi ensured that an AIIMS was built in Gorakhpur his constituency and even got a closed fertiliser plant revived. In the Lok Sabha if one looks at his debates he pushed development with a Hindutva agenda. This for the BJP could be a good mix while ruling Uttar Pradesh.