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NEW DELHI: It was apparently a casual gesture of affection towards a younger colleague, which also sent a significant message across. Two photographs of Prime Minister and Yogi Adityanath walking shoulder to shoulder went viral on social media, with the political circles seeing it as Modi’s yet another full throated endorsement of UP chief minister in the build up to the UP polls.
The photographs, tweeted by the UP CM, were shared across saffron social media platforms, including of those who consider BJP to be too “lite” for their taste, came close on the heels of PM terming the Delhi-Lucknow saffron stewardship as “Karma Yogis ki sarkar”.

BJP sources said the PM’s reassuring hand on Yogi’s shoulder and the proximity captured in the two still shots were Modi’s way of conveying to the larger audience that the UP CM has the central leadership’s backing: an affirmation which becomes crucial on the eve of crucial task of ticket distribution of UP polls and of determing how much billing Adityanath will be given during the campaign.
“Ham Nikal Pade Hai Pran Karke, Apna Tan Man Arpan Karke, Zid Hai Ek Surya Ugana Hai, Ambar Se Uncha Jaana Hai, Ek Bharat Naya Banana Hai (We have embarked on a journey, with a pledge, dedicating our mind and body, to make the sun rise; rise high above the sky and make a new India),” Adityanath posted the Hindi poem along with the two pictures. Modi, who reached Lucknow on Saturday, was on a two-day visit to the UP capital to attend the 56th DGP-IGP conference.
Earlier this month, Yogi was the only CM invited physically to BJP’s national executive held in Delhi recently where he presented the party’s political resolution, a privilege which used to be with party veterans like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani. The picture shared by Yogi was a rare one, with party watchers unable to recall another instance of the PM being in such close proximity to a colleague .
Senior leaders in the party maintained that Aditynath chose to tweet the photograhs to tell his colleagues as well as the audience beyond the saffron circles that he has the endorsement of party’s talismanic icon and they should aquiesce with the reality.
While several leaders retweeted and reacted to the Modi-Yogi picture, BJP national vice president and incharge for UP Radha Mohan Singh wrote, “Strong leadership dedicated to building a new UP and a new India….”
Asked about “relevance of the picture and how the party insiders see it, a senior BJP leader said, “It is open for the media to speculate.”
Results of the UP polls will be crucial for the party in the 2024 general elections when Modi will be seeking a third term as PM.
The BJP brass has made it clear that the party is going to seek a mandate for another term on its development agenda and the welfare schemes of the Centre.PM Modi, home minister Amit shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh have already visited UP multiple times and Modi recently inaugurated the first expressway in eastern UP, “Poorvanchal Expressway” connecting Lucknow to many districts including Sultanpur, Ayodhya, Azamgarh, Mau, Ghazipur and Ballia.



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