The hurly burly of being the Chief Minister of the country's most populous state would not keep Yogi Adityanath away from his "favourite" cows as many of them will soon be shifted to his sprawling 5-Kalidas Marg residence.
'Gauseva' or service of cows has been a part of the 44-year-old priest's regimen for several years during which he has developed a bond of affection with many of them.
"In the gaushala or the cow shelter at the Gorakhnath Temple there are close to 460 cows and calves. Whenever, the Yogi is in Gorakhpur, he feeds the calves with milk, roti and jaggery. After which he feeds the cows," said Swami Vidya Chaitanya Maharaj of Naimisharanya Ashram.
With Yogi Adityanath moving to Lucknow, some of his favourite cows would also soon be brought to his official residence at Kalidas Marg, he added.
"Yogi Adityanath calls the cows by their names. He has a strong bond with them. Nandini is his favourite," said Chaitanya Maharaj, who has been in close touch with Yogi Adityanath for the past 12 years.
He added that the Gorakhpur cowshed has the best breeds of cows including Gujarati, Sehwal, Desi and Gir, which produce over a hundred litres of milk a day.
This milk is used for making 'mattha' which is a kind of buttermilk which is distributed as 'prasad' among those visiting the Gorakhnath Temple, he said.
Known for his austere lifestyle, Yogi Adityanath has followed a strict daily regime.
"Yogi Adityanath gets up at 3 AM and practices Yoga between 4 to 5 AM. After this, he offers prayers and takes a round of the Mutt and temple premises, while inspecting the cleanliness of the place," Chaitanya Maharaj said.
He would then feed the fishes and then head to the 'gaushala' or cowshed, he said.
It was only after these chores were over, that he would head to his office as the head priest and Gorakhpur MP to listen to the grievances of the public, Chaitanya Maharaj added.
The Chief Minister, racing through his poll promises within three days of taking charge, on Wednesday, directed police officers to prepare an action plan to shut down slaughterhouses. He has also ordered a blanket ban on cattle smuggling and said there must be "zero tolerance" in such cases.
(With inputs from PTI)