Retired forest ranger and father of Ajay Bisht aka Yogi Adityanath was quiet emotional while leaving for Lucknow on Sunday morning to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his son, who takes the reins of the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.
It is a festive time for locals in nondescript Panchur village in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand since Saturday after Adityanath was elected leader of the BJP legislative party in UP, paving way for him to become the UP CM.
“We hope that Ajay’s (Yogi) elevation will start a new era of good governance in UP,” his father Anand Bisht said, adding that the move will also benefit Uttarakhand.
A bachelor in mathematics from the Garhwal University, Ajay had left home two decades ago and was actively associated with the Ram Temple movement in the 90s. This is when he came in touch with Mahant Avaidyanath of Goraknath Temple and became his disciple, and was given the name Yogi Adityanath.
He is the second among four brothers and three sisters. One of his brothers is a local journalist while other is in transport business.
Although Adityanath is based in Gorakhpur, he has maintained contact with his ancestral village and relatives in Uttarakhand. He has also opened a school in the village in 1998 supported by the Goraknath trust and often visits the village to seek blessings from Kul Devi, a local deity.
Shantanu Badola, who hails from Adityanath’s village, said he recently came to the village to campaign for former CM BC Khanduri’s daughter Ritu, who won from Yamkeshwar seat.
“But then, no one had any idea that Yogiji was soon going to shine on top,” Badola said.
Manoj Dabral, another villager now settled in Dehradun, feels his elevation as UP CM will help settle the pending issues of “distribution of assets” between both the states.
Adityanath will be the fourth Uttar Pradesh CM hailing from the hills after Govind Ballabh Pant, HN Bahuguna and ND Tiwari.
In fact, Pauri Garhwal district has now become two CMs in UP and Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat also comes from Pauri.
Rawat, who was sworn in on Saturday, also left for Lucknow to witness the swearing-in ceremony.