Yogi Adityanath to contest UP polls from Gorakhpur
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday confirmed that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will contest the upcoming Assembly elections from the Gorakhpur (Urban) constituency. The ruling party had, earlier in the day, released its first list of poll candidates. The highly-anticipated elections in UP will be held in seven phases starting from February 10.
Why does this story matter?
- This is for the first time that Adityanath will content Assembly elections, though he has served as a Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur for five straight terms before becoming the UP CM.
- However, the BJP's list contradicts speculation the leader may contest elections from the temple town of Ayodhya.
- Separately, the announcement comes as BJP deals with a flurry of resignations in recent days.
BJP names over 100 candidates
In the list released on Saturday, the BJP has named its candidates for over 100 Assembly seats. UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya will contest the election from the Sirathu seat in Prayagraj district, as per the list. On a related note, former CM Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party has also released its first list of candidates for the UP polls.
A fresh crisis for the BJP
The BJP's announcement comes hot on heels of a flurry of resignations faced by the saffron party. Those who exited include three UP Cabinet Ministers and seven other Assembly members. Several of them, including ex-Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, have since joined the BJP's main rival Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP).
Congress's first list includes dozens of women
Earlier this week, the Indian National Congress had announced a list of 125 candidates for the elections. As promised by party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, 40% of the nominees are women. Prominent candidates include Asha Singh, the mother of a rape victim in Unnao; Sadaf Jafar, an activist who was involved in anti-citizenship law protests; and 26-year-old actor-model Archana Gautam.
When are elections due in UP?
Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous and politically crucial state, will go to polls in seven phases between February 10 and March 7. The UP elections are often seen as indicative of the nation's mood for the general elections as the state sends the highest number of members (80) to the Lok Sabha. Election results will be declared on March 10.