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Who is Mahant Balaknath, the spiritual leader and BJP's Alwar MP pegged to be Rajasthan CM?

Similar to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Mahant Balaknath hails from the Nath community and has emerged as the leading candidate for the chief ministerial position in Rajasthan as BJP sweeps the state assembly election.

Who is Mahant Balaknath, the spiritual leader and BJP's Alwar MP pegged to be Rajasthan CM snt
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First Published Dec 3, 2023, 2:37 PM IST

In a significant turn of events in the Rajasthan Assembly polls, spiritual leader and Lok Sabha MP Mahant Balaknath has emerged as the leading candidate for the chief ministerial position as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) comfortably crosses the halfway mark, securing 112 seats out of the 199 Assembly seats. Hailing from a Yadav family and deeply ingrained in the Nath sect of Hinduism, Balaknath confidently stated that the BJP is poised to independently secure 120 seats in Rajasthan this time.

Balaknath's origins can be traced to Alwar, where he was born on April 16, 1984, in the village of Kohrana in the Behror tehsil. Coming from an agricultural family, he embraced sannyasa at the tender age of six-and-a-half, prompting him to depart from home and seek solace in the ashram. His father, Subhash Yadav, dedicated his service to Baba Khetanath in the Baba Khetanath Ashram of Neemrana, fostering in Balaknath a profound sense of devotion since his early years.

Also read: 'Magic has ended in Rajasthan': BJP workers dance to drum beats as poll trends give party edge (WATCH)

Born on a Thursday, he was bestowed the name Gurmukh by Baba Khetanath, who had been previously prophesied to welcome the child for the greater good of the public. Later named Balaknath, he was entrusted to Mahant Somnath for his education.

A pivotal moment in Balaknath's spiritual journey occurred on July 29, 2016, when he was declared the eighth successor of Asthal Bohar. This proclamation took place in the presence of esteemed figures such as Brahmalin Mahant Chandnath Yogi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Yogguru Baba Ramdev, and other renowned saints. After the passing of Mahant Chandnath Yogi in 2017, Balaknath took on the role of the eighth abbot of Asthal Bohar, the largest monastery in the Nath sect. Currently, he serves as the abbot of the Baba Mastnath Math and holds the prestigious position of Chancellor at Baba Mastnath University, both situated in Rohtak, Haryana.

Balaknath's venture into politics was influenced by his mentor, Mahant Chandnath, a former Member of Parliament from Alwar. Inheriting the responsibilities from his guru, Balaknath assumed the leadership of the Baba Mastnath Mutt in Haryana. Another significant influence on his political path is the support extended by yoga guru Baba Ramdev.

Balaknath shared that he always wanted to serve the society. "Whatever be the medium, the society should be served and that is what I am doing," he said.

Having contested in the Rajasthan Assembly polls, Balaknath is currently leading from his Tijara constituency, with the Congress trailing by a considerable margin. According to him, the people's mandate reflects a desire to rid the state of the incumbent Congress government, which he alleges is responsible for corruption, atrocities against women, and a surge in crimes.

On the day of the vote count, Balaknath visited a Lord Shiva temple to offer his prayers, emphasizing the religious and cultural dimensions that play a role in his political journey.

A day before the election results, Balaknath had a courtesy meeting with BJP Organization General Secretary BL Santosh at the party headquarters. When questioned about the meeting and the possibility of becoming the Chief Minister, Balaknath reiterated his commitment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, stating that the party would decide on the chief ministerial candidate.

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"As far as the post of CM is concerned, our Prime Minister is the face for BJP and we will continue to work under his leadership. The decision on who will be the CM will also be taken by the party. I am happy as an MP and want to serve society and I am very satisfied with it," he said.

Apart from Balaknath, other contenders for the top post include former chief minister Vasundhara Raje and central minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Balaknath, similar to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, hails from the Nath community, boasting substantial support and a significant following in Alwar.

As the BJP secures a comfortable lead in the Rajasthan Assembly polls, Mahant Balaknath stands out as a potential candidate for the chief ministerial position. His unique blend of spirituality, dedication to societal service, and political acumen position him as a formidable leader, with the final decision resting in the hands of the BJP leadership. The unfolding political landscape in Rajasthan will undoubtedly shape the state's future under the guidance of its chosen leader.

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