Since 2017 Yogi Adityanath is BJP Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Prior to this he was member of the Loksabha for Gorakhpur in Eastern Uttar Pradesh since 1998. He is founder of the violent vigilante group Hindu Yuva Vahini, and is known for an aggressive brand of Hindutva politics where hate speech and communal violence are used to create communal polarisation, a formula which has proved election-winning. In 2014 Adityanath still faced a number of criminal charges relating to the incitement of communal hatred. He was included in the BJP's national executive in March 2015.

Adityanath's campaigns have centred on core Hindutva issues: he is a vocal proponent of the Love Jihad conspiracy theory; a supporter of the VHP's "Ghar Wapsi" drive (mass conversions to Hinduism), and active around issues of cow slaughter. In 2015, his group offered guns to Hindus close to the site where a Muslim man accused of storing beef was murdered by Hindutva activists.


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