Ever since he was appointed chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in March in a highly surprise and controversial move, Yogi Adityanath has been constantly under the public and media glare.  

During campaigning, Yogi gave an exhaustive number of interviews to various news channels and dailies, but those mostly went unnoticed given he was never declared the official CM candidate. 

But now, when all eyes were on him on how he takes on criticism and questions regarding his recent moves – from his spirited attack on illegal slaughterhouses across the state, his controversial anti-Romeo squads and now the debatable massive farm loan waiver – Yogi has given his much-awaited TV appearance.

In keeping with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s aversion for the mainstream media, Yogi chose Doordarshan for the televised interview. 

But uncharacteristic of him, the 44-year-old CM appeared quite diplomatic in his answers even though he took on them all.

Here’s how the interview, televised on Wednesday, went:

  • On farm loan waiver

The Adityanath government recently waived off loans worth Rs 36,359 crore that had been given to 2.15 crore small farmers, a decision that has been criticised for bad economics and populism. What’s the Yogi’s take?

Adityanath said it was a promise made in the poll manifesto and the decision was taken after consultation with senior party members.

  • On law and order 

Uttar Pradesh’s progress has been marred by its residents migrating out of the state, especially the youth, to other states for work. This, coupled with breakdown of industrialisation, has crippled the state. What’s the Yogi’s take?

Adityanath said the government has taken some nine decisions in this regard, including the formation of an industralisation policy

  • ‘Hindu Rashtra’ in making?

Fears that India is heading towards being a Hindu Rashtra have reached a crescendo. Even a top jurist recently expressed this concern. The insistence on Yoga and Sanskrit seem to support it. What’s his take?

  • On education

The status of education is dismal in UP. Even the courts have said that no one wants to put their children in government schools these days. What’s the Yogi’s take?

Adityanath said improving education is his priority and he has asked the education department to give him a comprehensive report on proposals in 100 days.

  • On priest-turning-CM

Editorials are being written all over the world criticising the choice of a Hindu priest for an political position. What’s his take?

  • On anti-Romeo squads

Anti-Romeo squads are harassing couples in Uttar Pradesh. There are allegations that they are selectively picking on members from a certain community. What’s Yogi’s take?

 Watch the full interview here: