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Bolder, sharper, more assertive — What Uttar Pradesh can expect from Yogi 2.0

Adityanath did 20-hour shifts, became the first CM to tour all the 75 districts of UP, and broke Noida jinx to land where he is. That's why Yogi 2.0 is promising.

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Today, on 25 March, Yogi Adityanath took oath as the 22nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. This is historic in many ways. He has become the first chief minister to retain his position in two consecutive terms in the state in almost four decades, breaking the decades-old ‘Noida jinx’. He has also set a new grammar in UP that provides good law and order and welfare schemes to people. That is why they will vote for him irrespective of their caste, region, and other alignments and considerations. It’s evident that Yogi 2.0 will be politically bolder, administratively more experienced, and strategically sharper.

In the first week of January 2022, before the elections when I went to present my latest book The Monk Who Transformed Uttar Pradesh to Yogi Adityanath, I told him that the current term was transformational for UP and asked him what his priority for the next term would be. He emphasised that in the next term, he will do everything possible to make the state a ‘one-trillion-dollar economy’. He added that UP has faced sub-optimal and corrupt governments for far too long. Furthermore, he expressed his strong resolution to make UP prosperous again.

I was not surprised when last week, I saw a request for proposal (RFP) in all the leading newspapers to engage an experienced agency to help Uttar Pradesh progress towards its one-trillion goal. It’s reassuring to the voters that even before taking the oath, as an acting chief minister, he was back in action for UP’s prosperity.

Also read: NRIs in the US asked me these 5 questions about Yogi Adityanath: Biographer

Pointing out Yogi’s challenges

In many ways, this term will be a continuation of the meticulous governance, which the people of Uttar Pradesh saw in the last five years. But the Yogi Adityanath of 2022 is not the same as the Yogi Adityanath of 2017. When he entered the pancham tal (as the Chief Minister’s Office situated on the fifth floor is fondly referred to in UP) in 2017, his critics pointed out three disadvantages in him as a leader and administrator.

First, critics said that Adityanath had never held an administrative role before, mentioning that he had never been a minister at the Centre during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee or the Narendra Modi governments. He had never run the administrative and bureaucratic machinery of the state before.

As per the critics, the second disadvantage was that Yogi Adityanath was largely limited to Gorakhpur and eastern Uttar Pradesh in the last 19 years as a parliamentarian, barring the election campaigns in other parts of the state or the country. The third disadvantage was that Adityanath had never held organisational roles in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and so, his connect with the party workers throughout the state was not very strong.

Yogi Adityanath took these disadvantages head-on. He used all his parliamentary experience of 19 years and did 18 to 20-hour work shifts, developed the discipline to go through files cover-to-cover, became the first chief minister to tour all the 75 districts of UP, including the jinxed Noida, to understand the ground realities of every part of the state. He sat with IAS officers, legal experts, and multiple domain consultants for long hours to train himself in different processes. And thus, Yogi Adityanath worked through these bottlenecks and emerged a winner in the last five years.

Also read: What’s inside UP Police’s intel reports on Yogi Adityanath’s Hindu Yuva Vahini

Emerging a winner globally

Yogi 2.0 will be a far more assertive leader with a big electoral victory behind him. After the Gujarat model, now, the UP model is the next big thing among BJP states to look forward to. Different aspects of Yogi’s governance got accolades from the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), NITI Aayog, and various other national and global agencies. During the 2022 election campaign, Adityanath got two rare endorsements from former UP CM Rajnath Singh and Rajveer Singh, son of another star chief minister from the BJP, Kalyan Singh. Rajveer Singh mentioned that Adityanath proved to be a better CM than his father, and Rajnath Singh also rated him above himself.

PM Narendra Modi’s repeated endorsement of Yogi’s governance during the election campaign is also unprecedented, so much so that he coined the term ‘UPYOGI’ — UP+Yogi — for him. Adityanath certainly came out as a political heavyweight after the 2022 victory

In his speech after being elected as the leader of the BJP’s legislative party on 24 March, Yogi Adityanath humbly thanked PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for hand-holding him and his team as guardians and coaches on good governance throughout his tenure. In the same gathering, Amit Shah expressed his confidence in Yogi 2.0 and hope for UP to become the number one economy of India under the latter’s leadership in the upcoming five years. This sharp and repeated focus to make UP a strong economy by the top leadership of the BJP is very reassuring for the state, and that seems to be the governance mantra of Yogi 2.0.

Shantanu Gupta is the author of ‘The Monk Who Transformed Uttar Pradesh’ & ‘The Monk Who Became Chief Minister’. Views are personal.

(Edited by Humra Laeeq)

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