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Home » India » His Charisma Hit, Yogi Sticks To Gorakhpur To Protect His Turf In Eastern UP


His Charisma Hit, Yogi Sticks To Gorakhpur To Protect His Turf In Eastern UP

With western UP no longer a safe bet, retaining eastern UP is necessary for BJP if it wants to form the government again in the state.

Yogi Adityanath
Yogi Adityanath will be contesting elections to the Uttar Pradesh Asssembly for the first time. (Photo Yogi Adityanath Twitter)

New Delhi: Scotching all rumours and speculation, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket to contest the coming Assembly elections from his stronghold of Gorakhpur, where he is popularly known as Maharaj. 

While there was large-scale speculation that Yogi could contest from either of the two temple towns of Mathura or Ayodhya so as to consolidate the Hindu votebank, the Hindutva mascot decided to go where he is most comfortable – Gorakhpur.

In doing so, he has also ensured that he would be able to continue to keep the prominent eastern UP town in his firm grip.

This, incidentally, will be the first time that Yogi, a former five-term Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur, will contest Assembly elections. He is also the first Chief Minister to contest MLA elections in 15 years. Like him, his predecessors – Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati – were also Members of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.

By deciding to stand from Gorakhpur, Yogi, as well as the BJP, has also shown how important Eastern Uttar Pradesh is for the saffron party.

ALSO READ: Yogi Adityanath To Contest From Gorakhpur Seat, BJP Drops 20 Sitting MLAs In Its First List

Since, courtesy the recently-ended one-year-long farmers’ agitation against the three farm laws brought by the Narendra Modi government, the predominantly Jat votebank, which voted overwhelmingly for the BJP in the 2017 Assembly elections, could shift back to the Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal combine in Western UP, leaving the BJP in a precarious position in an area where it did very well in 2017, it is extremely important for it to hold on to Eastern UP.

Such is the importance that the BJP grants Eastern UP that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already held at least six rallies in the region since mid-October 2021.

The Central government has splurged heavily – from a new airport in Kushinagar to Purvanchal Expressway to an AIIMS in Gorakhpur – in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

In the 2017 elections, the party had won over 115 of the 165 seats in Purvanchal (Eastern UP) and unless the party does extremely well, if not better than 2017, it will be in a difficult position on March 10 when the results of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections along with four other states come in.

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With several caste groups, including a section of the OBCs and Brahmins, not very happy with the perceived stranglehold that Thakurs – Yogi is also a Thakur – have in the Yogi government, the BJP needed to put its best foot forward in Eastern UP.

And that meant fielding Yogi from his home turf.

For Yogi, too, no longer the undisputed leader of the BJP in even his state, with his stature and standing taking a huge hit due to the recent exodus of ministers and MLAs from the party, protecting his turf is as important as winning UP.

ALSO READ: 60% Seats To Backward Classes, Women In BJP First UP List

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