This Article is From Feb 22, 2017

What Facts? 'Public Opinion Counts,' Says BJP's Yogi Adityanath

Yogi Adityanath interpreted PM Modi's comments alleging religious discrimination by Samajwadi Party.


  • BJP MP Yogi Adityanath represents Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur constituency
  • He is among the BJP's tallest leaders in eastern Uttar Pradesh
  • He said power supply on Diwali should be 'four times more' than on Eid
Yogi Adityanath, BJP lawmaker and star campaigner in Uttar Pradesh, today offered his own, fact-free interpretation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comments on Sunday alleging religious discrimination by the state's Samajwadi Party government.

The PM had said at a rally, "There should be no discrimination. If there is land given for kabristan (graveyards), there must be provisions for shamshaanghat (crematoriums). Electricity must be provided on Ramzan and Diwali. If there is power for Holi, it must be available for Eid."

The All India Power Engineers Association however has clarified that on Eid last year, 13,500 MW of electricity was generated, and that on the 4 auspicious days of Diwali, the figure was 15,400 MW per day, suggesting the absence of bias.

To this, the Yogi told this interviewer to "stop quoting data". What counts, he said, is public opinion.

"People's anger is evidence. When people come on the streets, no evidence is necessary," he insisted.

The saffron-robed lawmaker also asserted, somewhat bizzarely, that he believed that going by the demographics, power supply on Diwali should be "four times more" than on Eid.

Yogi Adityanath said he "agreed with the Prime Minister that SP vikas (development) is limited to graveyards".

The BJP has alleged that Rs 1,300 crores were allotted for a graveyard scheme compared to Rs 627 crores for crematoriums.

Asked whether the Prime Minister should have laboured a point that involves a fraction of the state's budget of Rs 3.46 lakh crores, the firebrand politician said, "the Budget should be spent according to the population. It may be a small matter for you"

He then pivoted, making it a larger problem of the misuse, or lack of use, of the state's funds. "If it is a fraction of the budget, where did the rest of the money go?", he asked.  

Recently, Yogi Adityanath's supporters in eastern Uttar Pradesh threatened to field rebels if he was not named presumptive Chief Minister in UP, which is half-way through seven-phase elections.

The 44-year-old, however, distanced itself from the rebel outfit. "The outfit will not damage the BJP's prospects," he asserted. "I am not a candidate. I want a BJP worker to become Chief Minister."

Yogi Adityanath, a big crowd-puller for the BJP in eastern Uttar Pradesh, has been assigned a chopper to zip across the state to campaign as the party tries to win back the politically vital state after 15 years.