Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be contesting the upcoming election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly from the Gorakhpur (Urban) seat, the BJP informed on Saturday while releasing the first list of candidates.
Earlier it was being speculated that the Chief Minister could contest from one of the two temple towns of Ayodhya or Mathura. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan dismissed speculations about Adityanath being adamant about contesting from Gorakhpur and said, “Yogi Ji said ‘I will contest from any seat party asks me to’… This was the party’s decision.”
According to several leaders, contesting from the Ayodhya seat would have given a boost to the seat’s political profile and Adityanath’s image as a Hindutva icon. However, Adityanath, according to sources, was more inclined to fight from the Gorakhpur seat.
Apart from the Chief Minister, the BJP declared candidates for 106 seats including Adityanath’s deputy, Keshav Prasad Maurya who will be contesting from the Sirathu seat in Prayagraj District.
About 44 of the 107 candidates announced today are from the OBC communities, with 19 from the Scheduled Castes. Only 10 women candidates made it in the first list.
The Gorakhpur (Urban) seat is scheduled for polling on March 3 (sixth phase). The seven-phase poll in Uttar Pradesh will begin on February 10. The counting of votes will be on March 10.