Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath have emerged as the BJP’s new winning duo

If there was a turning point behind the historic back-to-back victories of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, it came late last year and under the most unusual of circumstances. In November 2021, just before the saffron party formally launched its campaign for the election to the state assembly, there were loud rumblings against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath within the party. The word was that the mahant-turned-politician was arrogant and ran the state government pretty much as his own fiefdom without involving cabinet colleagues in decisions or accommodating the party’s sensitivities. Some even called for a change of CM as had been done in neighbouring Uttarakhand as well as in Gujarat and distant Karnataka. It was at this point that Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to step in and throw his weight decisively behind the saffron-clad monk.


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