This comes in the backdrop of politics in Uttar Pradesh moving at a breakneck speed over the past couple of days with BJP’s prominent OBC leaders Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan among others quitting the saffron party
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to contest the 2022 Assembly elections from Ayodhya, according to several media reports.
On Tuesday, home minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attended a key BJP meeting as the party shortlisted its probable candidates for the initial phases of the state Assembly polls before its Central Election Committee meeting to finalise the names.
A party functionary said the issue of Adityanath’s candidature from Ayodhya came up for discussion at the meeting, as per Hindustan Times.
PTI said in a report that Adityanath, currently a member of the legislative council, had recently said that he is willing to contest the assembly polls from wherever the party’s top brass decides.
The BJP’s Central Election Committee, whose members include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is likely to meet soon to finalise its candidates for a large number of seats, including in those going to the polls in the first two phases on 10 and 14 February.
Official sources said the party’s campaign, especially in view of the Election Commission’s decision to ban rallies and roadshows due to surging COVID cases till 15 January, also came up for discussion besides various other aspects of its strategy.
Adityanath on Friday distributed free tablets and smartphones to students in Ayodhya to boost digital education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also offered prayers at the Hanumangarhi temple and at Ram Janmabhoomi temple during his visit to the city.
According to a report by The Indian Express, a source in the BJP said, “There is a proposal that the honourable chief minister could stand as a candidate in Ayodhya in order to augment the message. It could help the party highlight the narrative we have been emphasizing on.”
He added that many in the party think the candidacy of the saffron-clad Adityanath will be the “ultimate” message the party can convey in this election campaign.
But, the source said a final decision will be taken by the national leadership.
The BJP’s central election committee, which includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief JP Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah and other top leaders, is expected to meet soon, The Indian Express said.
According to a report by PTI, Ayodhya, Mathura and his traditional constituency Gorakhpur, which he has represented in Lok Sabha a number of times, have been seen as the most likely seat of choice for Adityanath, a key Hindutva face of the party who is also the head priest of the Goraknath Math.
Ayodhya, the sources said, ticks many boxes as the ongoing construction of the Ram temple has boosted its political profile for the BJP. The town falls in the Awadh region, where Samajwadi Party has been traditionally strong, and if Adityanath is fielded from there, then it may boost the Hindutva plan in the area, including parts of the neighbouring Poorvanchal. The chief minister and other senior party leaders from the state, including two deputy chief ministers and its state unit chief Swatantra Dev Singh, have been holding consultations with the central leadership in the national capital for the last two days, PTI said in a report.
Ayodhya seat is currently represented by BJP’s Ved Prakash Gupta in the assembly.
This comes in the backdrop of politics in Uttar Pradesh moving at a breakneck speed over the past couple of days with BJP’s prominent OBC leaders Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan among others quitting the saffron party.
Incidentally, a day after Maurya resigned from BJP, an arrest warrant was issued against him in a seven-year-old case.
In his letter to the governor, Chauhan said in Hindi, “Due to the neglect of the state government towards the backward section of the society, Dalits, farmers and unemployed youth of the state and the neglect of reservation of the Dalits and backward class in the society, I have been hurt and I resign from the cabinet.”
Elections for the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly will be held in seven phases. The polling will be held on 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 February, and, 3 and 7 March.
The polling in Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Goa will be held on February 14 and in Manipur in two phases on 27 February and 6 March.
The counting of votes will take place on 10 March.
With inputs from agencies
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