A Hindu Yuva Vahini office in Gorakhpur. Praveen Khanna A Hindu Yuva Vahini office in Gorakhpur. Praveen Khanna
SINCE YOGI Adityanath took over as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh last month, a pro-Hindutva outfit founded by him in 2002 has seen a spike in membership applications with over 5,000 requests being received on an average every day, according to a senior office-bearer at its Gorakhpur headquarters. So much so, that the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which had no norms or rules for recruitment previously, has issued guidelines for induction of new members. Earlier, the HYV, a “social organisation”, used to receive 500 to 1,000 such applications every month.
According to the new guidelines, issued through a circular on Friday by HYV state office in-charge P K Mall, candidates will have to undergo a one-year scrutiny process, including a background check and verification to know whether they had any previous inclination towards any political party.
The circular, sent to office-bearers in all districts and divisional units, warns them to “be careful while inducting a new person as a member” in the organisation, which does not have any women members.
“A lot of people want to join the organisation with a strategy to defame it and hence activities as well as background of the new applicants must be checked. After induction, a newcomer would be given post in the organisation only after working as an ordinary worker for at least six months,” states the circular.
Earlier, an applicant used to be charged Rs 11 for membership with receipts being handed out but that practice has been discontinued — membership is now free and only online applications will be accepted.
When contacted, Mall told The Indian Express: “In the past, only around 500 to 1,000 people used to contact HYV for membership in a month. But after March 19, since Mahantji (Yogi Adityanath) was sworn in as CM, we are receiving membership requests, including over phone, from more than 5,000 people every day.”
Mall claimed that membership requests have been received from other states, too, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Odisha. He further claimed that HYV had a current membership of nearly 2 lakh.
”But we have received information that some people from other political parties want to join HYV to malign our image through criminal activities. Recently, a group of workers from a political party, with saffron scarves around their necks, were seen on the Gorakhpur highway extorting money for performing ‘yagna’ in the name of HYV,” he said.
Asked why the organisation did not have any woman member so far, Mall said “There is no such provision in our constitution… we have not discussed this issue.”
Elaborating on the new membership process, Mall said every applicant will have to fill an application form on the HYV website, attach scanned copies of his photograph, voter ID card and Aadhaar card as proof of identity and residence.
”The applicants’ details will be sent to the HYV units of their home districts, where local workers will inquire with local police about their political inclination and background. If any applicant is found to be facing serious criminal cases or having an inclination towards Opposition parties, they will be denied entry,” said Mall.
Besides, he said, HYV office-bearers will visit applicants’ residential area several times during the one-year period before sending reports to the higher-ups. Those in charge of district units will certify these reports, said Mall.
Asked about cases lodged against existing HYV office-bearers, Mall said, “These are political cases, which were lodged while working for HYV. This is a social organisation functioning for Hindu culture, cow protection and against untouchability.”
The HYV’s former state president Sunil Singh is registered as a history-sheeter at the Harpur Budhat police station in Gorakhpur district, with around 70 cases registered against him, including on charges of rioting.
Singh was removed as president in February after he declared that the HYV will contest from 64 seats in eastern UP because the BJP has “insulted” its founder, who is also head priest of the Gorakhnath temple.
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