SANTS PRESENT at Gorakhnath Temple on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make local MP Yogi Adityanath as BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 UP polls.

Before Modi reached the temple to unveil a statue of Mahant Avaidyanath and address a ‘sant sammelan’, sources said the sants – who hailed from Gujarat, Ayodhya, Patna, Madhya Pradesh, Chitrakoot, Rajasthan and Haridwar — passed a resolution to announce Adityanath as the face of BJP for UP polls.

“Is samay Modi aur Yogi ka yog hai… If Adityanath is given leadership of the BJP campaign, then sants will also come out in his support… Yogi safal hon, yahi Mahant Avaidyanath ke prati shradhanjali hogi,” said a saint. Another added that the combination of Modi and Yogi would be auspicious for restoring the past glory of the nation.

Later, at Modi’s public meeting with the sants, Yogi’s supporters raised slogans such as “Gorakhpur me rehna hai,to Yogi-Yogi kehna hai”. They also waved banners carrying messages like “We want Yogi in UP”.

Former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand, who was present at the sant sammelan, said: “PM was today apprised of the view of the sants… Yogi is a six-time MP from Gorakhpur. Sants believe Ram Temple could be built (in Ayodhya) only if a pro-Hindutva government is in power in UP…”

 

He added that several factors are behind the demand to project Adityanath’s as the chief ministerial candidate.

“The Samajwadi Party’s CM face is a youth. Another youth, Priyanka Gandhi, is likely to lead Congress’ campaign. Against them, only Adityanath suits the job. He is young leader with a clean image and faces no charges of corruption and crimes. He could be a strong face against hooliganism, corruption and violence,” Chinmayanand said.

In a tweet earlier in the day, Modi said: “My association with Mahant Avaidyanathji goes back to the time when I was not in active politics. Heard from him the work done here.”

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