Party tensions

Denied permission to speak, Adityanath leaves BJP executive meet midway

Hardline MP skips Narendra Modi's concluding address.

Signs of unrest in Uttar Pradesh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party became apparent when Yogi Adityanath, the hardline Hindutva MP from Gorakhpur, left the party’s national executive meeting in New Delhi midway, boycotting its deliberations on the concluding day on Saturday.

This followed the BJP leadership’s decision to turn down Adityanath’s request to address the gathering.

According to highly placed officials, the fire-brand BJP leader, who attended the first day of the national executive meet on Friday, was so enraged by the party leadership’s decision that he boycotted Saturday’s deliberations, which were to end with a speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two-day meet was attended by present and former party presidents, the chief ministers of all the BJP-ruled states and delegates from across the country.

“On Saturday, Yogi Adityanath did not attend the meeting in Delhi,” Sunil Singh, the Uttar Pradesh president of Adityanath’s Hindu Yuva Vahini, told “Around 12 o’clock he left for the airport to catch the Lucknow-bound plane which took off at 2 pm. He reached Lucknow around 3 o’clock.”

The Hindu Yuva Vahini is Adityanath’s personal organisation through which he has attempted to gain political control of Gorakhpur and the neighbouring districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, independent of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliate, the BJP. Though the Hindu Yuva Vahini claims to be a cultural organisation, its primary motivation – like that of the RSS – is political.

In a sulk

The ambitious Thakur leader, who until recently was attempting to have himself projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, has been sulking for quite some time. Not only did he fail to elict any concrete assurances from the BJP brass about a leadership role in the state, he was also unable to secure a ministerial berth for himself in Modi’s cabinet.

His name did not even figure in the BJP’s 27-member election committee for UP announced about 10 days ago by party’s state president Keshav Prasad Maurya. Significantly, the committee includes Shiv Pratap Shukla and Ramapatiram Tripathi, two Brahmin leaders from Gorakhpur who are considered potential threats to Adityanath’s influence in the region.

People close to Adityanath claim that the incident will hurt the BJP. They say that the Gorakhpur MP and his Hindu Yuva Vahini wield so much influence in eastern UP that they could play spoiler for the BJP in a several seats in the region – if not placated in time.

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