Moments after the BJP suffered humiliating defeat in Kairana and Noorpur by-elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath faced a revolt of sorts from his own party legislators with one MLA going public with his criticism for him.
Shyam Prakash, BJP MLA from Hardoi, took to Facebook to attack Adityanath with the following lines in Hindi, “First Gorakhpur, Phulpur, and now Kairana and Noorpur, we are sorry for the BJP’s defeats. But five lines depicting the present reality. He became the head of the government after party won in the name of Modi, but he could not perform according to the liking of common people… Even the chief minister is feeling helpless… People and MLAs are hapless, officials and presidents are corrupt. Intelligent people should get the hint, rest it’s all your decision.”
Kairana’s loss had followed two crucial defeats for the saffron party in Gorakhpur, Adityanath’s home constituency and a BJP bastion. The party had lost Phulpur, a seat that was won by the BJP’s Keshav Prasad Maurya, now Uttar Pradesh’s deputy chief minister, in 2014.
The BJP losing Kairana and Noorpur did not go down well with many party leaders, who saw it as a glaring sign of Adityanath’s waning popularity since he had actively campaigned in both Kairana and Noorpur.
Later, Prakash defended his criticism for Adityanath. “It is my opinion. Corruption is on the rise and that is the only reason…People are working with their own mind. The Chief Minister should work harder and look into this. They must, otherwise it won’t work,” he was quoted by NDTV.
Adityanath was made the UP chief minister even though the BJP had not projected him as its chief ministerial face. Since becoming the state’s chief minister, he’s come under heavy criticism for poor governance and promoting divisive politics.
In Kairana, he was accused of seeking votes by invoking Md Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. However, his opponents had highlighted the issue of ganna (sugarcane) since this affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of farmers in the region.