How a Temple Priest Became Chief Minister

Posted : March 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm IST by ManaTelugu


Ever since Yogi Adityanath’s anointment as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh by BJP, India’s largest state and one of the most important states, the decision has left many shocked and invited various debates cutting across parties.

His controversial background, his inexperience (he hasn’t held any administrative post so far) and little information about his childhood are being spotted by the Opposition parties.

Born as Ajay Singh Bisht on 5 June 1972, very little is known about Adityanath’s childhood. Born into a Rajput family in Panchur, a village in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, he is a graduate in science from Garhwal University at Srinagar, Uttarakhand. He had cut ties with his family at the age of 21 to become a disciple of Avaidyanath, the head priest of Gorakhnath Temple.

At Gorakhnath Temple, Adityanath became the favourite disciple of his mentor Avaidyanath and followed in the long tradition of the temple that produced the members of State Assembly and Parliament. Both Avaidyanath and his predecessor Digvijaynath were elected to the Lok Sabha as member of the Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu outfit. Avaidyanath later joined the BJP.

Adityanath turned the manager of the election campaign for his mentor Avaidyanath. Subsequently, Adityanath stepped into public life and in the 1998 general elections, he became the youngest MP from Gorakhpur at the age of 26. He has won all four general elections since then. And there was no looking back for him since then.

Adityanath is unmarried and the head priest of Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur. The members of the Gorakhnath Math, situated near the Gorakhnath Temple, played an important role in the movement to build a Ram Mandir in place of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

As he rose in politics, Adityanath started to enjoy good relations with former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and current Union home minister Rajnath Singh, one of the senior most BJP leaders from Uttar Pradesh. Adityanath is also close to members of the RSS, the ideological parent of the BJP.

The appointment of Adiytanath as the UP CM is seen as a test for himself. Since he has never held any administrative post and it is a challenge for him to reinvent himself from being a religious leader to a parliamentarian and now play a role of an able administrator. With the BJP having pledged development, good governance and improvement in law and order in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the biggest challenge for Adityanath will be to try and meet the aspirations of voters by creating job opportunities for the youth, as well as infrastructure development.