UP Assembly Election: Yogi Adityanath to contest polls from Gorakhpur stronghold, not Ayodhya

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Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to participate in elections for Sirathu town in Prayagraj district

File image of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath. Reuters

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will contest Gorakhpur in the upcoming Assembly polls, the BJP announced on Saturday when releasing its first list of candidates. The party has nominated candidates for the seats who will go to the polls in the first two phases.

Deputy Prime Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya will challenge Sirathu town polls in Prayagraj district. the second list for the polls will be released shortly, said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

“The decision was taken after long deliberations…the final decision (was taken) by the senior leadership of the party,” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters.

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There was speculation earlier that the chief minister – who has never contested an Assembly election before – would run in one of the two temple cities – Ayodhya or Mathura.

Gorakhpur is Adityanath’s stronghold and elected him to the Lok Sabha for five consecutive terms until 2017. This is the first time the Chief Minister will challenge Assembly polls, despite having been an MP of the Lok Sabha of Gorakhpur for five consecutive terms from 1998 to 2017. .

Voting for the seat of Gorakhpur (urban) will take place on March 3 – the sixth and penultimate phase.

The seat of Gorakhpur is considered a stronghold of the Gorakhnath Math, whose current high priest is Yogi Adityanath. Currently, this seat belongs to BJP candidate Radha Mohan Das Agarwal.

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First list of BJP candidates for Uttar Pradesh polls by Manasi Chandu on Scribd

The list was released by BJP Uttar Pradesh official and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan along with party general secretary Arun Singh during a press conference at the party headquarters here.

The BJP is currently facing internal dissent after 10 of its Uttar Pradesh MPs, including three ministers, quit the Yogi Adityanath government this week.

Elections for the 403-member assembly of Uttar Pradesh are scheduled to be held in seven phases starting February 10.

UP polls

Uttar Pradesh, considered the politically vital state of the country, votes from February 10 in seven rounds in an election widely regarded as a precursor to the national elections of 2024. The results will be announced on March 10.

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In the 2017 parliamentary elections, the BJP won a complete victory in Uttar Pradesh. By winning 312 of 403 seats, the Saffron party left its rivals far behind to secure their biggest victory in this crucial Hindi belt state.

In terms of vote share data, BJP got 39.7%, followed by BSP with 22.2% and SP 21.8%. Congress was only able to get 6.3% (over 54 lakh votes).

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