The appointment of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state of India has led to extremely sharp and strong reactions from the opposition Congress party as well as various other individual leaders. This decision by the BJP is looked at by many as a categorical message from PM Narendra Modi to pursue the policy of polarization through their “Hindutva” wrapped politics.

To a large extent, Yogi Adityanath’s image is responsible for such strong reactions throughout the country. He is not only the head priest of the Gorakhnath Math, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur, but also an aggressive practitioner and promoter of “Hindutva”. He has been very vocal about expressing his views against love marriages between Hindu girls and Muslim boys, calling them as “Love-Jehad”.   

Though this decision has received huge backing from the Yogi’s supporters and friends like Baba Ramdev, it is to be seen how the firebrand MP from Gorakhpur flares in his new role as the CM of Uttar Pradesh. Below are some of the facts about Yogi Adityanath which make him such a controversial and notorious personality.

  1. Yogi Adityanath was born as Ajay Singh Bisht into a Garhwali Rajput family on 5 June 1972 in the village of Panchur, in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.

  2. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Srinagar, Uttarakhand.

  3. At the age of 21, he renounced his family and became a disciple of Yogi Advaitanath, the then head priest of Gorakhnath Math.

  4. He was promoted to the rank of Mahant of Guru Gorakhnath Temple, following the death of Mahant Aavaidyanath on 12 Sept 2014.

  5. At an age of 26, Yogi Adityanath was elected as the youngest member of the parliament from Gorakhpur in the year 1998 and has won the seat consecutively five times since then.

  6. Adityanath started the youth wing called Hindu Yuva Vahini, for the Hindu youth known for violent activities in the Purvanchal region in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

  7. He was embroiled in controversy when he spoke against Hindu girls marrying Muslim boys and called it as “Love-Jehad”.

  8. In 2005, the “Ghar Vapasi” or purification drive led by Adityanath, which involved conversion of Christians to Hinduism, around 1800 Christians are reported to have been converted.

  9. In March 2011, the documentary film Saffron War – Radicalization of Hinduism accused Adityanath of promoting communal disharmony through a Virat Hindustan rally in rural Uttar Pradesh.

  10. He has often landed in trouble, even facing a jail term due to his radical and controversial statements supporting and propagating the “Hindu” state.