On January 19, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was in Gautam Buddh Nagar district for the second time in three days when he visited GIMS in NCR’s Greater Noida to review facility for serious COVID-19 patients.
In his recent visits to the district, Adityanath has brushed aside the political superstition that has stuck to Noida, another name for Gautam Buddh Nagar, for long. Known as the 'Noida jinx', the superstition is that visiting Noida brings bad luck to chief ministers and hence are not re-elected.
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Adityanath, who has made many visits to the NCR town, even ahead of Uttar Pradesh polls, said during the GIMS visit that he would beat the “Noida jinx” and come back to power despite visiting Noida, unlike his predecessors.
"It was all the more important for me to come here as previous chief ministers were afraid of coming to Gautam Budh Nagar," Adityanath told reporters.
The CM took a jibe at Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, who did not visit Noida during his tenure as UP chief minister between 2012 and 2017 "For him, his own life and power were more important than the interest of the people," the CM said.
The seven-phase Uttar Pradesh election beginning February 10 is considered to be a fight between the incumbent BJP and Yadav-led Samajwadi Party. Three seats of Gautam Buddh Nagar district – Noida, Jewar, and Dadri – will go to the polls in the first phase of polls on February 10.
What is the Noida Jinx?
The belief is that 'Noida jinx' has been the reason for several Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers losing power after a visit to the NCR town neighboring Delhi.
The chief ministers, before Yogi Adityanath, are said to have believed in the superstition and thus avoided visiting Noida when they were in power even as the region developed into a prime economic zone of the state of Uttar Pradesh.
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Adityanath’s predecessor and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav stayed away from Noida. Yadav, for example, did not attend the Asian Development Bank Summit organized in Noida in May 2013. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the chief guest of the event. Yadav would often inaugurate projects in the town virtually. In April 2013, for example, he launched the Rs 3,300 crore development projects, including access to the six-lane Yamuna Expressway, through a video link from Lucknow.
Yadav, even met family members of Dadri lynching victim Mohammad Akhlaq in Lucknow, instead of visiting the family in Dadri.
Before Akhilesh Yadav, other Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers, including, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kalyan Singh, ND Tiwari, and Rajnath Singh avoided going to Noida as well.
Before Yogi Adityanath, it was Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, who was lauded as Chief Minister between 2007 and 2012 to have defied the myth. In November 2007, she became the first UP CM to set foot in Noida in 13 years when she attended a wedding and an expo in the town. Later in 2011, she was in Noida to inaugurate the Noida’s Dalit Prerna Sthal.
A year later, however, she lost power in 2012 assembly polls and the 'jinx' was back in the news. She is believed to have lost power in 1997 too because of her Noida visit.
The superstition dates back to June 1988 when the then chief minister Veer (Vir) Bahadur Singh, of the Congress, was asked to step down by the central leadership. Singh had incidentally returned from Noida when he was asked to resign. ND Tiwari in 1989, Kalyan Singh in 1999 were believed to have been hit by the jinx. In 1995, Mulayam Singh was out of power within months of his Noida visit.
How Yogi defied the jinx?
On December 23, 2017, months after swearing-in as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath put aside the “Noida” jinx and landed in the NCR town to check arrangements ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on December 25. On December 25, Adityanath accompanied Prime Minister Modi at the inauguration of the Magenta line of Delhi Metro.
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Since then the UP CM has been constantly visiting Noida. Among his recent visits, Adityanath was in Dadri last September to unveil the statue of Samrat Mihir Bhoj, In November 2021, he, along with Prime Minister Modi, laid the foundation stone of Noida International airport in Jewar.
Speaking at the inauguration event of the airport, PM Modi lauded Yogi Adityanath for defying superstition and said there was no space for blind faith in governance.
“Faith is important but blind faith is not desirable. When I was CM of Gujarat, a section of people told me of a few places where no CMs went because they were inauspicious. From day one I was clear and decided to go all those places in my first year Unfortunately due to superstition, leaders maintained a distance from those places for decades,” the PM said.
The jinx apart, no incumbent CM has returned to power in Uttar Pradesh in the last three decades. The last time a CM returned to office in UP was ND Tiwari of the Congress party in 1985.