Explained: Why big leaders have chosen home turf for UP polls

Uttar Pradesh Assembly election 2022: While Yogi Adityanath will fight the assembly polls from Gorakhpur, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has chosen Karhal in Mainpuri, according to his party leaders. The elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath (left) and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.(File Photo)
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath (left) and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.(File Photo)
Published on Jan 21, 2022 08:24 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav will contest his first assembly elections from Karhal constituency in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri district, the party’s stronghold, according to party leaders. But he is not the only one who has chosen the home ground for himself in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to field Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur, his home turf. According to Hindustan Times' sister publication Livehindustan, the move is not just to ensure the victory of the leaders, but both SP and BJP have their own strategy behind this. The impact that the leader will have on the overall election is also kept in mind, Livehindustan said.

Deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya has also been fielded from Sirathu (in Kaushambi), where he won the elections in 2012 before being elected as an MP from Phulpur in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

He is currently a member of the UP Legislative Council, like Yogi Adityanath.

The other big player, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, has made it clear that she will not contest the elections. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who is leading the party's campaign this time, has so far been silent on joining the election fray.

Why did BJP choose Gorakhpur seat for Yogi?

Yogi Adityanath was a five-time BJP MP from Gorakhpur. He led from here till he took over the reins of UP in 2017. Citing top BJP state leaders, Livehindustan said that Adityanath's candidature from Gorakhpur could have an impact on at least 50 assembly seats in the Purvanchal region.

Why did Akhilesh choose Karhal?

The seat has been a stronghold of those following the Samajwadi ideology since the very beginning. The first election was won by Praja Socialist Party from here. However, Akhilesh also has an option to fight the polls from another Yadav-dominant seat - Gopalpur in Azamgarh.

Instead of Purvanchal, he has chosen this seat which has prepared political ground for Saifai family. The Karhal seat in the Yadav belt is considered very safe for the SP chief.

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The reason for this is that there are 40 per cent Yadav votes, while the number of Brahmins, Thakurs, Dalits, Shakyas is also good. The Muslim vote here is relatively low.

Babu Ram Yadav won from Karhal for the highest number of times - five - though from different political parties. SP Patron Mulayam Singh Yadav is the MP from here. It is being told that in the internal survey, the SP found Karhal seat more favourable than Gopalpur and Gunnaur, according to Livehindustan.

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