UP elections: Yogi Adityanath may contest from Ayodhya seat
With deliberations on ticket distribution for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls underway in the Bharatiya Janata Party, chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s name has been proposed for the Ayodhya seat, party functionaries aware of the matter said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the core committee for UP, which includes Adityanath, met in Delhi to discuss candidates for some assembly constituencies.
According to a party functionary who was at that meeting, the issue of Adityanath’s candidature was also brought up. The chief minister is a five-time MP from Gorakhpur and also the head of the Gorakhnath Math. He is currently a member of the state’s legislative council.
Elections will be held in the state in seven phases from February 10 to March 7 and the results for the 403-member assembly will be announced on March 10.
The final decision on Adityanath’s candidature rests with the party’s election committee that will examine the recommendations from the state unit, but there is a growing clamour for the CM to be fielded as a candidate from Ayodhya or Mathura. Both places are of religious significance to the Hindus.
Another party functionary said projecting Adityanath as the candidate from Ayodhya will send the message of combining Hindutva with development.
Earlier BJP lawmaker, Harnath Yadav wrote to BJP president JP Nadda asking that the CM be named the party’s candidate from Mathura.
“While Gorakhpur, which is the seat of the Gorakhnath Math (of which the Yogi is the head), is identified with the CM, the religious significance of Ayodhya is far greater. If he contests from there, it will be a clear and strong message that the party and the CM are not compromising on their core ideological beliefs for political purposes,” said the second functionary, asking not to be named.
The party has pulled out all stops to retain power in the state. Functionaries on the ground claim that based on the performance of the state government and the social schemes implemented by the union government, the party is currently looking at retain power and will win 270 to 290 seats.
“Since it is a multi-phase election, a lot rides on the mood on the ground as the election progresses. But we are confident of a comfortable win,” added the second functionary. The election in the state will be held in seven phases.
Political analyst Shirish Kashikar said, “It would be an interesting proposition if the BJP fields Yogi Adityanath from the Ayodhya assembly constituency. It has a strong emotional appeal not only for voters of Ayodhya, but for entire UP as Ram temple is one of the dream projects of Yogi. It will definitely push the BJP’s hindutva plank. In fact, the Ayodhya seat is the stronghold of BJP. It has retained this constituency for three decades, except a defeat in 2012 elections when SP snatched it from BJP.”