Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath to contest from stronghold Gorakhpur
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath (ANI Photo)
YOGI Adityanath, the chief minister of India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh which is headed to assembly elections next month, will contest from Gorakhpur (urban) seat, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said on Saturday (15).
The saffron party, which is aiming to return to power in the key political state for the second consecutive time, released its first list of candidates for the seven-phase election kicking off on February 10. The results will be announced on March 10.
Four other states will also go to the elections during the same time and they include Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.
Adityanath’s deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya will contest from Sirathu in the city of Prayagraj, formerly called Allahabad.
Adityanath, seen as one of the BJP’s future stars, has been voted as a parliamentarian from Gorakhpur for five straight terms between 1988 and 2017, and while there were talks that he could contest the upcoming election from Ayodhya, the holy city for the Hindus, it was eventually decided that he will be fielded from his former parliamentary constituency.
Gorakhpur (urban) will go to polls on March 3, the day the sixth and penultimate phase will be held.
“The decision has been made after much deliberation… the final decision (was taken) by the top leadership of the party,” central minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters.
“Yogiji said ‘I will contest from any seat party asks me to’… This was the party’s decision,” Pradhan said, dismissing speculation Yogi had been adamant about contesting from Gorakhpur.
Sources had claimed he was more inclined to fight from Gorakhpur instead of a new constituency.
“I am thankful to PM Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda, (and the) Central Parliamentary Committee for fielding me from Gorakhpur. BJP works on the model of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ (development for all, with all)… BJP will form the government with full majority,” Adityanath told news agency Asian News International.
The BJP’s decision to field Adityanath from Gorakhpur comes at a time when a number of the party’s state-level ministers and lawmakers are exiting the party.
A BJP victory in Uttar Pradesh is key for prime minister Narendra Modi’s chances to win his third straight term in New Delhi in 2024.