Yogi Adityanath has been in the news ever since he took oath as the 21st Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on 19th March, 2017. While unverified controversies seem to surround him, he is one of those faces of Indian politics that are always in the news. While most of us didn’t know much about him until he was chosen as the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh now is the best time to get to know him.
1. His birth name was Ajay Singh Bisht, born on 5th June 1972 in Uttarakhand (then Uttar Pradesh to Savitri devi and Anand Singh Bisht. His father was a forest ranger. He has 3 brothers and 3 sisters, him being second to the eldest.
2. He renounced his family at the age of 21 and became a disciple of Mahant Avaidyanath who was the chief priest of Goraknath Math in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, a member of Hindu Mahasabha and later of Bharatiya Janta Party and a leader of Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Also, Mahant Avaidyanath was Yogi Adityanath’s maternal uncle. Yogi succeeded him in 1998.
3. Yogi Adityanath holds a Bsc degree in Mathematics from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand. In 1991 while Yogi Adityanath was studying for Bsc., he decided to fight the Student Union Election but he couldn’t get a ticket from Akhil Bhratiya Vidyarthi Parishad. He ran for the seat as an independent candidate but failed to win.
4. Yogi Adityanath entered politics in 1996 when he was made in-charge of Mahant Avaidyanath’s election campaign. He was the youngest MP in the 12th Lok Sabha at the age of 26. Ever since, his tryst with politics has never ended, only soared. He has been winning the Gorakhpur seat since 1998. In the 16th Lok Sabha his attendance has been 77% and he has introduced three private member bills in the Lok Sabha.
5. Various criminal cases have been filed against Yogi Adityanath ranging from crimes of attempt to murder, trespassing on burial places, carrying deadly weapons, rioting etc. Yet his popularity, especially among the Hindu population of Uttar Pradesh continues to soar.
6. Yogi Adityanath is an animal lover. In the morning he feeds the cows at the Gorakhnath Temple’s Gaushala. There is Labrador called Kaalu at the temple. Seeds and water are set out for the birds everyday at the temple.
7. Always known for his firebrand persona in politics, it is not known to many that he had cried in public in the parliament in 2006 over the issue of police brutality in Uttar Pradesh (a state that has been under the President Rule for more than six times) when Mulayam Singh Yadav was the Chief Minister of the State. After the murder of youth politician Ajit Singh, Yogi Adityanath’s car cavalcade was attacked while he was travelling to attend the last rites of Ajit Singh in Azamgarh and in this altercation one person was killed from the attackers. Yogi feared that his life was in danger and that is believed to be the reason for his crying publicly in the parliament..
As the Chief minister, he has made many big decisions including a blanket ban on cow smuggling, crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses, forming of anti-romeo squads to control eve-teasing in the state and a ordering a stay on UPPSC results suspecting irregularities. There seems to a be a lot more to watch out for.