March 21, 2023

I decided to join politics to help people get rid of mafia: Yogi Adityanath | India News – Times of India

In an exclusive interview with Pravin Kumar at TOI’s ‘Destination Uttar Pradesh’ conclave, CM Yogi Adityanath reveals what made him join politics in the 90s.
You were appointed successor to the Gorakhsh Peeth in 1994 when Gorakhpur was infested with crime. You were young and obviously would be facing threats. So, did you get an early training in handling criminals and mafia?
It was around 1994-95. There was a well-known family of Gorakhpur which had two big havelis. The state government had allocated both havelis to the mafia. The family brought both buildings down. I met the family the day after they had brought down the buildings and asked what had happened. The person said if he did not demolish the buildings, then he would’ve lost everything, but now at least he could retain the land. In another incident, I got a call from a rich person in Gorakhpur. He said his house was being occupied by a minister. I reached the site to find that his belongings were being thrown out. I told them the owners hadn’t sold this building so how could anyone take it over. The public was watching but nobody was doing anything. When the mafia waved some papers in my face, I told the public to beat them up.
Incidents like these made me join politics. Now, nobody can afford to do this kind of activity in UP. All criminals know that if they try to illegally occupy anything then they ’ll have to face bulldozers.
Your opponents say that the government crackdown is selective.
Mafia is mafia. It should not be linked with caste, community or religion. Mafia is the enemy of society and it is worse than coronavirus.
In the previous election, BJP went without a CM face and got a historic mandate. Now, you are the face and this election seems like a referendum on your work. Does that worry you?
We don’t get flustered. When we were fighting mafia alone, then we weren’t flustered. When we were fighting encephalitis, we weren’t flustered. Whatever success has been seen in UP has happened due to the inspiring leadership of the PM and his guidance.
Will you be disappointed if you get 250 seats?
I believe we will not get less than 350 seats
SP says there is massive support for its rallies.
Everyone can see how much support they are getting. We saw in their behaviour in Kanpur… how confident they are. They are trying to spoil the environment, but they will not succeed.

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