Yogi Adityanath of BJP will contest UP elections from Gorakhpur!

Votes for the new government in Uttar Pradesh in seven phases of polling beginning on February 10 (File)

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will contest next month’s assembly elections from Gorakhpur (urban) seat, the BJP said on Saturday afternoon, as it released its first list of candidates.

Yogi’s deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya will contest from Sirathu seat in Prayagraj district.

Voting for the Gorakhpur (urban) seat, which is the chief minister’s bastion and has voted him to the Lok Sabha for five consecutive terms till 2017, will take place on March 3 – the sixth and final phase.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters, “The decision was taken after a lot of deliberation… the final decision was taken by the top leadership of the party.”

“YogiYes Rejecting speculations of contesting from Gorakhpur, Yogi said, ‘I will contest from any seat, the party asks me’… It was the party’s decision. To start in a new constituency.

“I am grateful to PM Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda, (and) the Central Parliamentary Committee for fielding me from Gorakhpur. BJP works on the model of ‘Everybody’s company will help in everybody’s growth‘…BJP will form the government with an absolute majority,’ Adityanath told news agency ANI from his stronghold.

Minutes after the BJP announced Yogi Adityanath will contest from Gorakhpur, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at him, saying: “I like that the BJP has already sent him (chief minister) to Gorakhpur. The yogi should stay there… there is no need for him to come from there.”

Earlier there was speculation that the chief minister – who has never contested an assembly election before – may contest from one of the two temples – Ayodhya or Mathura.

This happened after the BJP’s core group showed interest in fielding Yogi from these seats, especially when the eastern part of the state was seen as moving away from the party.

Sources had said that fielding Yogi from Ayodhya would have checked many boxes as the ongoing construction of the Ram temple had raised the political profile of the seat for the ruling party.

This would have allowed him to capitalize on and further his brand as a symbol of Hindutva. The temple town falls in the Awadh region, where the rival Samajwadi Party has traditionally been strong.

On Wednesday, sources told NDTV that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired the BJP’s central election committee meeting, will take a final call on Yogi’s candidature.

Meanwhile, the BJP is also facing internal discontent in UP following the walkout of 10 of its MLAs, including three ministers, this week. Many, including influential OBC leaders and former ministers Dharam Singh Saini and Swami Prasad Maurya, have since joined rival Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party.

In today’s list, BJP also named candidates for 105 other seats, of which it won 83 seats in 2017. Of these, the MLAs who won 63 seats have been retained along with the remaining 20 new faces.

Significantly, out of the 107 candidates nominated today, 44 are from OBC communities (their votes are widely considered to be crucial for winning the UP elections), along with 19 other candidates from the Scheduled Castes.

The names of only 10 women candidates have surfaced from the BJP.

The candidates for the other 296 seats in the 403-member UP assembly will be announced later.

Voting for the new government in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh is starting from February 10, the results of which will be out on March 10.

ANI. with the input of

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