Born as Ajay Singh Bisht, Mahant Yogi Adityanath is an Indian politician, priest, and current Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh. He is known for his firebrand Hindu nationalist/Hindutva image. Yogi founded the militant youth organization called Hindu Yuva Vahini.
Yogi Adityanath is a five-time Member of Parliament. He has been elected from U.P.’s Gorakhpur constituency since 1998. He is currently also the head priest or Mahant of the Gorakhnath Math temple in Gorakhpur.
Yogi Adityanath was born on 5 June 1972 in Panchur village situated in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district. His family belongs to Garhwali Rajput. Anand Singh Bisht is his father and he worked as a forest ranger.
Yogi did his schooling in Pauri and later attended the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University from where he passed out with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics.
In the 1990s, when he was in his early 20s, Yogi left home and joined the Ayodhya Ram temple movement. During this time he met the head priest of the Gorakhnath Math, Mahant Avaidyanath, and became a disciple of his. He was then rechristened as ‘Yogi Adityanath’ and assigned as Mahant Avaidyanath’s successor.
The political career of Yogi Adityanath started in 1996 when he was appointed manager in charge of the election campaign of Mahant Avaidyanath.
Two years later, Yogi was elected as an MP from the Gorakhpur constituency. At 26 years old he was the youngest member of the Lok Sabha of 1998. Since then he has been elected as the Gorakhpur constituency Member of Parliament for 5 successive terms. In the 2014 general elections he won by a margin of more than 1, 42, 000 votes.
After winning the elections for the first time, Yogi founded the militant Hindu youth wing called Hindu Yuva Vahini. This organization was instrumental in the meteoric rise of Yogi Adityanath in politics.
Yogi Adityanath was a major campaigner in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for the BJP. After the landslide victory of the BJP, Yogi Adityanath was appointed as the Chief Minister of the state on 19th March 2017.
Yogi Adityanath – Childhood Pictures
Yogi Adityanath and Controversies
- Yogi Adityanath allegedly converted 1800 Christians to Hinduism in 2007 during a purification drive launched by him. The conversion happened in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah town.
- Yogi Adityanath disobeyed the order of the magistrate and travelled to a site of altercation between Hindus and Muslims during a Muharram procession in January 2007; the altercation resulted in the death of one Hindu youth named Raj Kumar Agrahari. Subsequently rioting occurred and curfew was imposed. Yogi was arrested and jailed after he broke the curfew.
- In 2015, Yogi Adityanath stated that those who did not want to do yoga can leave India/Hindustan.
- In 2015, he compared Shah Rukh Khan to Hafiz Saeed, a Pakistani terrorist.
Steps taken by Yogi Adityanath as UP Chief Minister
Some of the steps taken by Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister include closure of illegal slaughterhouses; ban on cow-smuggling; formation of anti-Romeo squads for protection of women; and ban on pan, tobacco, and gutka at all government offices in the state.