Lucknow, July 2 (IANS) When the road is absolutely clear, the weather is favourable and there are no blockades -- big or small -- in sight, the drive is bound to be smooth and uninterrupted.
This is exactly what Uttar Pradesh is for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and there is no stopping for the monk-turned-politician.
Ever since Adityanath took over as the Chief Minister of UP in March 2017, he made it amply clear that he would not work under any pressure -- whether it is from his own party, or the opposition.
Within weeks of taking over as the CM, he ensured that sprawling bungalows allotted to opposition leaders were vacated as per Supreme Court orders.
The decision had been put off by previous governments, but Adityanath put his foot down and ousted leaders like Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati from their palatial residences, despite the major controversies and mudslinging that followed.
His own ministers were told in clear terms that they would also have to toe the line of discipline and this ensured that dissent, if any, did not come out in the open.
The Chief Minister's decisions in the past five-and-a-half years have been his own.
From banning cow slaughter, setting up anti-Romeo squads, renovation of temples, holding of ?Deepotsav' and development package for Ayodhya, to cracking down on mafia and bulldozing illegal properties that finally turned the bulldozer into a mascot for his government -- all the decisions were taken by Yogi Adityanath alone, and he brokered no ministerial interference.
Bureaucrats, for a change, fell in line and ensured prompt implementation of the Chief Minister's orders.
During the pandemic also, Adityanath handled the crisis on his own, with his team of loyal bureaucrats ensuring support in implementation. Even the then health minister was kept out of Covid management duties.
As Adityanath reiterated his image as a tough administrator, he also underlined his policy of Hindutva at regular intervals.
His government's crackdown on senior SP leader Mohd Azam Khan did not even earn a whimper of protest from the opposition and the Samajwadi Party was reduced to the status of a mute spectator.
This was the end of political opposition to the ruling BJP in UP.
Good governance, mixed with Hindutva, made a heady cocktail and ensured BJP's return to power and also overwhelming praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The poll results also proved that Adityanath's style of functioning has earned the approval of voters and this silences his critics within the party.
In political terms, the recent bypolls in Rampur and Azamgarh were the biggest challenge that Adityanath faced after the Assembly triumph earlier this year.
Both the constituencies were dominated by Muslims and were also known to be Samajwadi bastions.
According to political analysts, the Assembly elections had not only left the opposition completely demoralised, but also wary of Adityanath's style of vengeance.
Both Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati did not even campaign for their parties, which further dampened the spirits of their cadres.
The result was that the Samajwadi Party lost both its bastions and did not even have an excuse for the loss of seats and face.
The Bahujan Samaj Party, after a series of losses, has restricted its presence to the social media while the Congress remains a non-layer in state politics.
With opposition presence reduced to an almost invisible position, Yogi Adityanath now remains completely unchallenged in Uttar Pradesh.
The road ahead is completely clear for him.
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