Yogi Adityanath, the saffron clad, diminutive Chief Minister-designate of Uttar Pradesh, evokes strong sentiments in the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Known for his penchant for pitching Hindutva and raising tempers against minority appeasement, the five-time Gorakhpur MP emerged as a "surprise choice" for some and a "shocking package" for others as his name was announced as the next Chief Minister of India's most populous state on Saturday evening.
Having a hardliner at the helm of affairs in a state where Muslim presence is sizable and Yogi's views against them are neither hidden nor hush hush, speaks volumes for the cult following of the presiding priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur. Since he made his maiden entry into the Lok Sabha in 1998 at the young age of 26, close aides say the Yogi has been winning hearts.
He is known to be a people's man who does not mind going the extra mile for his supporters who have stood by him for almost two decades.
Known to be a frugal eater and a strict follower of 'adhyatmik Hindu paddati' of living, as followed by his late father Yogi Avaidhyanath, he is fond of 'gau seva' (cow service) and has been asking his 'Hindu Vahini' organisation to ensure that there is no cow slaughter.
A science graduate for Uttarakhand, he comes from the Rajput community from the hill state. He is an active blogger and has been airing his views on various issues dear to him through his personal website.
Wearing thick gold rings in his ears and Rayban dark glasses, he is fond of "only and only saffron clothes".
He has never been spotted wearing any other colour. With his elevation as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath is a man to be watched as many feel that he will not shed his hardcore Hindutva image but will on the contrary sharpen it further as the BJP looks at the 2019 Lok Sabha elections where the party wants to bring all castes and tribes under one large umbrella of Hindutva.