Yogi Adityanath’s Biography : In office since 19 March 2017, Yogi Adityanath is the 22nd and current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, an Indian Hindu monk and politician.
After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the 2017 State Assembly elections, in which he played a prominent role, he was appointed Chief Minister on 26 March 2017. He has been the Member of Parliament for Gorakhpur since 1998.
As Mahant or head priest of Gorakhnath Math in Gorakhpur, Adityanath has served in that position since September 2014 when his spiritual “father”, Mahant Avaidyanath, died. In addition, he founded Hindu Yuva Vahini, a Hindu nationalist organization. Due to his controversial views, he is often referred to as a Hindu nationalist. As a right-wing Hindutva firebrand, he has acquired an image of being right-wing populist.
Yogi Adityanath was born in the village of Panchur, in Pauri Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand) on 5 June 1972 as Ajay Mohan Bisht. He was the son of late forest ranger Anand Singh Bisht. His family consisted of four brothers and three sisters, he being the second child. The Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand awarded him a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.
Around the 1990s, he left his home to become a member of the Ayodhya Ram temple movement. Mahant Avaidyanath, the head of the Gorakhnath Math, was also a disciple of his at that time. His name became Yogi Adityanath and he was designated as the successor of the Mahant Avaidyanath after taking diksha as a sanyasi of the Nath tradition. Having established a school in his ancestral village in 1998, Adityanath frequently visited Gorakhpur after his initiation.
Yogi Adityanath belongs to a tradition of Hindutva politics in Uttar Pradesh, tracing its roots to Mahant Digvijay Nath, who led the Hindus in taking the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1949. Digvijay Nath and his successor, Mahant Avaidyanath, both belonged to the Hindu Mahasabha and served in Parliament on its ticket.
In the 1980s, the BJP and Sangh Parivar, two strands of Hindu nationalism, came together in the Ayodhya movement. While switching to the BJP in 1991, Avaidyanath retained significant autonomy. In 1994, Yogi Adityanath succeeded Avaidyanath as the Mahant of Gorakhnath Math. He was elected to the Indian Parliament’s Lower House (the Lok Sabha) four years later.
Hindu Yuva Vahini, Adityanath’s youth wing formed after his first electoral victory, is known for its activities in eastern Uttar Pradesh and has played a key role in his meteoric rise. BJP leadership and Adityanath have been at odds over the allocation of election tickets repeatedly.
Despite mounting tensions, the BJP has not allowed them to escalate because Adityanath has been a key campaigner.
A key campaign issue in 2006 was the link between Nepali Maoists and Indian Leftist parties, and he urged Madhesi leaders to oppose Maoism in Nepal. While traveling to Azamgarh for an anti-terrorism rally, his convoy was attacked in 2008. One person was killed and at least six others injured in the attack.
Member of Parliament
In the 12th Lok Sabha, Adityanath was the youngest member at 26 years old. For five consecutive terms (in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014), he has been elected to the Parliament from Gorakhpur.
During the 16th Lok Sabha, Adityanath attended 77% of the sessions, asked 284 questions, participated in 56 debates, and introduced three private member bills.
Having established his own independent power base in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, with the support of the Hindu Yuva Vahini and the Gorakhnath Math, Adityanath felt confident that he could dictate terms to the BJP. He derided and undermined the BJP for its dilution of Hindutva ideology. He revolted by nominating candidates against the official BJP candidates when his voice was not heard. In 2002, Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, a secular candidate from Gorakhpur, was fielded as a Hindu Mahasabha candidate and defeated Shiv Pratap Shukla, a BJP cabinet minister, by a huge margin. Adityanath threatened in 2007 to field 70 candidates against BJP candidates for the state assembly. However, he settled for a compromise. The BJP candidates who were defeated in 2009 Parliamentary elections were said to have been campaigned against by Adityanath.
The RSS and BJP leaders have kept Yogi Adityanath in good humour despite his periodic revolts. He has been visited by the deputy prime minister L. K. Advani, the RSS chief Rajendra Singh and the VHP chief Ashok Singhal. In conjunction with the BJP National Executive Meet on 22-24 December 2006 in Lucknow, Adityanath organized a three-day Virat Hindu Mahasammelan at Gorakhpur. In spite of the conflict, many RSS and VHP leaders attended the Mahasammelan and pledged to pursue Hindutva goals regardless of the BJP’s “abandonment” of them.
During the Women’s Reservation Bill debate in the Parliament, Adityanath was one of several BJP MPs who defied the party whip.
A BJP candidate for the Rajasthan state assembly election, Pratap Puriji Maharaj, campaigned for him in 2018.
At the swearing-in ceremony of Yogi Adityanath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders were present.
In the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath was a prominent campaigner for the BJP. After the BJP won the assembly elections, he was appointed Chief Minister by the state government on 18 March 2017 and sworn in the next day. The administration shut down illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh after he became chief minister. It was Adityanath who ordered the formation of anti-“romeo” quasi-vigilante squads.
A blanket ban on cow-smuggling was imposed and the UPPSC civil service exams and interviews were postponed until further notice. He also banned tobacco, paan, and gutka in government offices throughout the state and compelled state officials to pledge to devote 100 hours to the Swachh Bharat Mission annually. Over 100 “black sheep” policemen have been suspended by the Uttar Pradesh police.
In his role as CM of UP, he kept 36 ministries under his direct control, including Home, Housing, Town and Country Planning Department, Revenue, Food and Civil Supplies, Food Security and Drug Administration, Economics and Statistics, Mines and Minerals, Flood control, Stamp and Registry, Prison, General administration, Secretariat administration, Vigilance. Personal and appointment, Information, Institutional finance, Planning, Estate department, Urban land, UP state reorganisation committee, Administration reforms, Programme implementation, National integration, Infrastructure, Coordination, Language, External aided project, Relief and Rehabilitation, Public Service Management, Rent Control, Consumer protection, and Weights and Measures.
In his first cabinet meeting, held on 4 April 2017, an agreement was reached to forgive loans to nearly 87 lakh (8,700,000) small and marginal farmers of Uttar Pradesh for 363.59 billion rupees (US$4.8 billion). For India’s Independence Day celebrations in 2017, the government requested video proof of students singing the Indian national anthem from Muslim religious schools.
Yogi Adityanath, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, inaugurated the Samsung factory, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturing facility, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
Adityanath inaugurated the world’s largest smartphone factory in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in July 2018. For the Samsung mobile plant, his government was credited with making 50 megawatts of power and a 22-kilometer-long electricity line in just four months.
The plaque will be unveiled by Narendra Modi, Yogi Adityanath, Mohan Bhagwat and Nrityagopal Das on 5 August 2020 to lay the foundation stone for Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir.
Adityanath is being considered as a possible candidate for Prime Minister of India in 2024, provided he delivers on some fronts, according to analysts. “Mood of the nation” survey conducted by India Today in August 2020 rated Adityanath as the best-performing chief minister in India.
In September 2020, Adityanath asked his government to come up with a strategy to prevent “religious conversions in the name of love”, and even considered passing an ordinance on the subject if necessary. On 31 October, Adityanath announced that his government would pass a Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020 to curb “Love Jihad.”
Adityanath’s ordinance was approved by the Uttar Pradesh state cabinet on 24 November 2020, and Governor Anandiben Patel signed it on 28 November 2020.
Adityanath introduced his UP population control draft bill 2021-2030 in July 2021. The chief minister announced the policy aimed at reducing population growth for the next five years on the occasion of World Population Day. Several benefits were also announced on the basis of the single child and two-child policies. According to him, the state population policy focuses on increasing the accessibility of contraceptive measures under the Family Planning Programme and providing a secure abortion system. Many political parties have also been critical of this policy. Apparently, this policy focuses mostly on the state’s upcoming general elections. In the state, the opposition Congress has called it a “political agenda” and the Samajwadi Party has called it “murder of democracy”.
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