Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath may be facing flak for the law and order situation in his State but outside it, he has emerged as the BJP’s most sought-after campaigner.
In four out of five States where Assembly elections are on, Mr. Adityanath addressed 74 public meetings, a BJP source said. The highest was in Rajasthan (26), followed by Chhattisgarh (23), Madhya Pradesh (17) and Telangana (8). In contrast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah addressed 32 and 58 rallies respectively (including Mizoram). While Rajasthan attracted Mr. Modi’s attention the most (12 rallies), Mr. Shah seems to have given priority to Madhya Pradesh, where he spoke at 23 meetings.
Mr. Shah held 12 road shows, 31 organisational meetings, 34 meetings with community groups, and 19 events with religious and cultural organisations – 154 programmes, a party leader said. The last of the UP CM’s rallies was in Telangana on Wednesday, at a time when the heat was on his government to act in the Bulandshahr incident, in which a police officer and a civilian were shot dead.
BJP spokesperson Chandramohan said the high number of rallies for Mr. Adityanath indicated his popularity. “It is a victory of his model of governance,” he said.
Mr. Adityanath’s campaign triggered controversies, bringing an element of Hindutva to the rhetoric. He displayed his Hindutva credentials, evoked Lord Ram and alleged minority appeasement by Congress.