In spite of rumors of Yogi Adityanath contesting from Ayodhya and Mathura, BJP announced that he will be contesting from Gorakhpur, as it released its first list of candidates. It came as a surprise to many who thought they would be witnessing Yogi fighting his first Assembly Elections from Ayodhya.
The UP elections are to be held from 10th February to 7th March in seven phases across the state. The results will be declared on the 10th of March.
Why The Rumor?
The two temple towns, Ayodhya and Mathura, are two extremely important places that the BJP must concentrate upon. The party’s officials had earlier expressed an inclination to field Yogi from one of these seats.
This was also seen as a response to increasing the party’s influence on the eastern part of the state, where its popularity had been on an apparent decline. It would also allow Yogi to concentrate on his brand spectacularly as the ongoing construction of Ram Mandir had already promoted the party’s influence in the region.
What Actually Happened?
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan declared, “The decision has been taken after much deliberation…the final decision (was taken) by the top leadership of the party.” He also dismissed any speculation about Yogi being adamant about fighting from Gorakhpur saying, “Yogiji said, ’I will contest from any seat party asks me to’…This was the party’s decision.”
According to the NDTV, Yogi told ANI news agency, “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‘… BJP will form the government with full majority.”
Akhilesh Yadav, the main contender of Yogi Adityanath, took a jab at his opponent, “Earlier they used to sometime say ‘he will fight from Ayodhya’ or ‘he will fight from Mathura’ or ‘he will fight from Prayagraj’… now see… I like that the BJP has already sent him (the Chief Minister) to Gorakhpur. Yogi should stay there… there is no need for him to come from there.”
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When news of his candidature became public, Yogi was in the Gorakhpur temple. On receiving the news, his supporters rushed to congratulate him shouting and dancing with the slogans as if he had already won the upcoming elections.
In retrospect, the reactions were quite natural as Yogi has already been a five-time MP contesting from the Gorakhpur area.
Political analyst Rajeev Dutt Pandey commented, “CM Yogi has been Gorakhpur MP since 1998. There is no doubt that he has his own network and goodwill in the area, so working during elections will be difficult for him. On the other hand, if he were to contest from Ayodhya or Mathura, the party’s election operations team would have to work anew.”
According to the Times of India, the Gorakhpur (Urban) Assembly seat, consists of 19% Brahmins, 9% Saithwars, 4% Yadavs, 18% Vaishyas, 17% Muslims, 11% Nishads, and 5% Dalits.
Radha Mohan Das Agarwal
The BJP has maintained Gorakhpur as a position of power for 33 years. In 2002, the power of the then BJP candidate Shiv Pratap Shukla was dwindling. The party then decided to back Hindu Mahasabha candidate, Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, the current MLA of Gorakhpur.
In 2007, the BJP officially announced him as a candidate and won the elections with 49,000 votes. Radha Mohan Das Agarwal has been a four-time MLA from Gorakhpur. Yogi Adityanath has backed and endorsed him many times during elections.
However, in an interesting turn of events, the 2022 UP Assembly Elections saw Yogi Adityanath receive a ticket ahead of his erstwhile ally. Only time will tell how this allotment might affect the upcoming elections of March 3rd.
The MLA Chief Minister
Yogi Adityanath could become the first MLA CM in fifteen years. Yogi Adityanath was already a five-time MP in the Lok Sabha when the BJP came to power with a dominant victory. After coming to power, Adityanath chose to become a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) instead of becoming an MLA. This allowed the Chief Minister to become the fourth MLC CM of the state.
However, this time it would clearly not be so.
Did the BJP administration make a huge mistake by not contesting Yogi Adityanath from Ayodhya or Mathura? That remains to be seen in the upcoming contest from the 10th of February.
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This Post Is Tagged Under: #yogiadityanath, Amit Shah, Ayodhya, BJP, Narendra Modi, Ram Mandir, Saffron Politics, UP Elections, Mathura, Gorakhpur, Akhilesh Yadav