Gorakhpur (UP),: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday thanked the BJP leadership for choosing him as the candidate from the Gorakhpur seat in the assembly election and exuded confidence that the party would return to power in the state with an “overwhelming majority”.
“I express thanks to the prime minister, national president and BJP Parliamentary Board who decided to field me from Gorakhpur Urban seat in the current assembly elections,” Adityanath told reporters in his first reaction after the declaration of his name.
“With the help of party workers and present and past representatives, the BJP will win not only in Gorakhpur but in the entire state and form its government again with an overwhelming majority,” he added.
Gorakhpur Urban constituency has been a citadel of the right wing forces since 1967.
A history of the constituency shows that Congress represented the seat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly continuously for three times starting from 1952.
In 1967 the seat was won by the nominee of Bhartiya Jan Sangh, the earlier incarnation of the BJP and in successive years till 1977 it was with the Jan Sangh.
After the formation of the BJP, the constituency went into its kitty and continues to remain with them.
Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, who represented Gorakhpur Urban seat first as the Hindu Maha Sabha nominee in 2002 and as a BJP candidate in 2007, 2012 and 2017 has paved way for Adityanath this time.
On the party’s prospects in the elections, Adityanath said, it is before everybody as to how the BJP has worked effectively on the issues of nationalism, development and good governance.
BJP will once again form its government in the state with its core mantra of “sabka saath, sabka vikas”, he said.
Declaring the names of candidates for 107 seats going to polls in the first and second phase of voting in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP on Saturday fielded Adityanath from Gorakhpur Urban seat and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu in Prayagraj as it expressed confidence of retaining power with a big majority.
Gorakhpur Urban seat will go to vote in the sixth phase on March 3.
This would be the first occasion when Adityanath will be contesting Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Presently he is a member of the state legislative council.
In the past, he had represented the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat for five terms.
The constituency includes Gorakhnath temple which Adiyanath continues to head.
A look at the constituency reveals that its a Hindu-dominated seat and Muslims form 17 per cent of its population. But, in the parliamentary elections that Adityanath won in the past, even Muslims in good numbers voted for him
While the incumbent MLA was not available for comment, state BJP Vice President Satyendra Sinha expressed happiness over the party’s decision to field Adityanath from the seat.
However, Samajwadi Party leader Zafar Amin claimed it was a tough decision for the BJP to make as the saffron party’s sitting MLA was a “household name” and any other candidate would not have the same advantage.
Besides, the SP would field a strong candidate to give a tough fight to the chief minister, he said.
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Gautam Prasad alleged that Adityanath breaking bread with a Dalit family in Gorakhpur on Friday would not help him garner support of the community.