Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath emerged as the most sought after star poll campaigner as he addressed 74 election meetings in the last 21 days in four poll-bound States.
The poll results of these states will be announced on December 11. In an informal chat with this reporter, Yogi recently said that the public response was quite enthusiastic wherever he addressed rallies.
“The election campaigning was hectic but the response of the people made my visits worthwhile,” Yogi told this reporter at his 5, Kalidas Marg official residence in Lucknow.
“At some places, the response was unexpected. All grounds were full of audience and the people waited for me despite I being late for the meetings at certain places. Going by public response, the BJP is bound to do well in these elections,” Yogi said.
The elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana are being seen as the a semifinal before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP used star campaigners led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in these elections. Among the other campaigners, Yogi Adityanath was the most sought after.
Yogi addressed 17 rallies in Madhya Pradesh, 23 in Chhattisgarh and 26 in Rajasthan. He also campaigned in Telangana and addressed eight rallies there. Yogi’s overall tally of poll meetings was the highest for any star campaigner of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The saffron clad Mahant of Gorakhnath temple spoke on Ram and Hindutava in his speeches and even created a controversy by terming Lord Hanuman as a Dalit. His one-liner ‘Ali and Bajrang Bali’ made headlines when he said ‘Aapko Ali mubarak, hamare liye to Bajrangbali hi kaafi hain’.
This may have been a part of design as the party faced tough challenge from a resurgent Congress in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The BJP worked on a two-pronged strategy. While Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath invoked Ram and Hindutava, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah talked about development.
A senior BJP leader said that Yogi was much in demand in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh but he could not be accommodated properly because of tight schedule.
“The CM used to address rallies the whole day and by the evening he used to fly back to Lucknow and hold meetings with officials,” he said.
Another reason for his increasing demand was that he has a large followers of Nath sect in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.