Putting all speculations to rest, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday announced that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will contest from his stronghold Gorakhpur which elected him to Lok Sabha for five straight terms till 2017.
While addressing the press conference today, Union Minister and BJP Uttar Pradesh election in charge Dharmendra Pradhan released a list of candidates for 57 out of 58 seats in the first phase and for 48 out of 55 in the second phase. The BJP fielded deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu constituency in Prayagraj while minister Shrikant Sharma will contest from Mathura.
There was speculation earlier that Adityanath, who never contested Assembly elections before, could contest either from Ayodhya or Mathura. BJP leader Harnath Singh Yadav had written to party national president JP Nadda and urged him to field the chief minister from Mathura.Notably, the BJP won the 2017 elections winning over 300 seats in 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly without announcing a chief ministerial face. Adityanath, who had played a crucial role in the BJP's poll campaign, took over as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on March 26, 2017.
Adityanath had fought the general election for the first time in 1998 from Gorakhpur when he was 26 and became the youngest MP in the 12th Lok Sabha. He is the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple in the city. He took over this position in September 2014 after the death of his spiritual "father", Mahant Avaidhnath.
The people of Gorakhpur has a strong connect with the sitting chief minister for his image as a priest and a politician.
According to the sources in the BJP, Adityanath has been assigned the responsibility of the Gorakhpur (Urban) seat keeping all these things in consideration.
In the past, BJP candidates Uday Pratap Dubey, Ramlal Bhai, Awdhesh Kumar Srivastav, Sunil Shastri, Shiv Pratap Shukla and Radha Mohan Das Agarwal had secured Gorakhpur (Urban) seat for the party.
Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, in 2017, won from Gorakhpur (Urban) seat on the BJP's ticket by 55.85 per cent votes.
Elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10, the Election Commission said.
The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (ANI)