BJP, ally IPFT won 6 of 7 seats where UP CM Adityanath campaigned in Tripura
Of the estimated 2.5 million voters in Tripura, nearly a million have direct or indirect links to the sect and have a sizeable presence in at least 10 of the state’s 60 assembly seats.india Updated: Mar 04, 2018 22:45 IST
A week before voting in Tripura on February 18, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath landed in Agartala and conducted a whirlwind tour of the state, campaigning for the BJP in seven constituencies.
The saffron clad priest-politician, head of the Gorakhnath temple in Uttar Pradesh, addressed public meetings at Matabari, Sabroom, Pabiacharra, Jubarajnagar, Kanchanpur, Kamalpur and Khayerpur.
When the results were announced on Saturday, and the Left decimated, it emerged that the BJP and alliance partner, the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), had won in six of the seven seats where the UP CM had campaigned.
As head of the Nath sect, the UP CM enjoys immense clout among followers in Tripura.
Of the estimated 2.5 million voters in Tripura, nearly a million have direct or indirect links to the sect and have a sizeable presence in at least 10 of the state’s 60 assembly seats.
During his campaign trail, Adityanath also visited two Gorakhnath temples at Padampur and Chandrapur.
Ramani Nath, vice-president of Chandrapur’s Gorakhnath temple, said Adityanath “mesmerised people” with his speeches and it helped the BJP.
“Nath community has its own culture and tradition and there are many followers of Gorakhnath scattered across the state,” the 83-year-old said.
Bikash Debnath, another Nath sect follower, claimed BJP’s landslide win had a lot to do with Adityanath’s campaign.
Bhagaban Das, who won on BJP ticket from Pabiacharra, was among those in Tripura for whom the UP CM campaigned.
Incidentally, the BJP’s strong show in the north-east comes before the party faces bypolls in UP, including on Adityanath’s political turf of Gorakhpur.
(With inputs from Manish Chandra Pandey in Lucknow)