Despite the unusually assertive spread of its activities in Uttar Pradesh after Adityanath became the state’s chief minister in March, the Hindu Yuva Vahini is facing an uncertain future. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the parent body of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has asked Adityanath to disband the outfit, which he set up in 2002, and which exists outside the purview of the Sangh Parivar, people familiar with the situation said.
Though Adityanath, who owes his political success largely to the Hindu Yuva Vahini, has not responded to the RSS demand so far, the pressure has started building on him, according to one of his close aides.
According to BJP insiders, during the state executive meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party early this month, Keshav Prasad Maurya, deputy chief minister and the president of the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit, indirectly hit out at the Hindu Yuva Vahini, saying that “outsiders” were getting “preferential treatment” in the government at the cost of party cadres.
The two-day state executive at Lucknow began on May 1 with an inaugural speech by Adityanath. The meeting concluded on May 2 with an address by BJP president Amit Shah. Maurya’s outburst came on the concluding day of the meeting, in the presence of Adityanath and Shah, and is believed to have the sanction of the state RSS.
“Though Maurya did not take the name of Hindu Yuva Vahini, it was clear to all that he meant this very organisation when he referred to outsiders,” said a member of the party’s state executive, who was present at the meeting.
The member added: “As he levelled allegations in the presence of Amit Shah it was obvious that he had the backing from higher-ups.”
Freeze on membership
At the meeting, Adityanath remained silent, and did not even try to respond to Maurya’s allegations. However, a day after the BJP’s state executive meeting, Hindu Yuva Vahini’s general secretary PK Mall announced a freeze on the organisation’s membership “for the next six months or even a year”.
This has not satisfied the RSS, which wants the entire group to be disbanded, people familiar with the stiuation said.
The RSS fears that with Adityanath as chief minister, the Hindu Yuva Vahini might grow as a parallel Hindutva outfit with its own independent political ambitions that might clash with those of the Sangh Parivar in the future. It fears if allowed to grow, Adityanath’s outfit has the potential to turn the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh into something like Maharashtra where the BJP has to compete with a rival Hindu party, the Shiv Sena, for votes.
Since its inception 15 years ago, the Hindu Yuva Vahini has been a key factor in Adityanath’s rising popularity. His victory margin, which was around 7,000 votes in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, grew to 1.42 lakh votes in 2004, and over three lakh votes in the 2009 and 2014 general elections.