Gorakhpur ticket slashes Yogi’s hope of becoming a national Hindutva icon

While political parties promise the skies to the voters the top leader has to constantly and vigilantly guard against any other competitor especially within the party who attempts to grow taller than him

Kulsum Mustafa
Kulsum Mustafa

By Kulsum Mustafa

In just one masterstroke the BJP national leadership has grounded Yogi Adityanath’s national political ambitions. By denying him the election ticket to contest from Ayodhya or Mathura in the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and giving him Gorakhpur (urban) seat instead, the message is loud and clear- Adityanath’s 80- 20 formula will not hold good for BJP till the Lok Sabha 2024 elections. The monk-turned-politician will have to work harder, and against all odds on his home turf for victory and visibility both. The unexpected move has come as allegedly a big setback to Adityanath’s RSS-backed aspirations of becoming the political heir to Prime Minister Modi and also the national symbol of hardcore Hindutava.

Political stalwarts claim that while it suited the BJP to let Adityanath spread his Hindutava wings in Uttar Pradesh and help garner majority votes in the state but such exercise was clearly not acceptable by either Modi and more so Amit Shah at the national level.

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Politics is a strange game. While political parties promise the skies to the voters the top leader has to constantly and vigilantly guard against any other competitor especially within the party who attempts to grow taller than him. This strategy has been nowhere more evident than in the BJP’s present poll tickets distribution for the Uttar Pradesh elections. The erstwhile state chief minister Yogi Adityanath has been ‘smartly’ handled by the party. Despite all attempts allegedly by him and his lobby, he was not given the ticket to contest elections from Ayodhya or from his second choice Mathura. Instead, he was handed down the ticket to fight from his home turf Gorakhpur. Ironically the seat has been nurtured four times sitting BJP MLA Radhamohan Das Agarwal.

As a Lok Sabha member from Gorakhpur, Adityanath opted to be an MLC Chief minister and did not get any MLA to vacate his seat for him when he was brought in as Chief minister in 2017. In setting the record of becoming the third UP minister after Bahujan Samaj Party Mayawati and Samajwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav to complete his full term out of the 21 chief ministers who have ruled over this Hindi heartland in the 70 years.

So before further damage was done Adityanath’s wings were clipped. His ticket was announced by Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP Uttar Pradesh assembly election in-charge in the first list of 107 candidates for Uttar Pradesh. Voting in Gorakhpur will be held in the sixth phase on March 3. While the list had 57 names of candidates for the first phase which goes to polls on February 10.,

At a press conference on Saturday, after the BJP lists were announced, Akhilesh Yadav had said in a lighter vein said that though the doors are now closed for any turncoats of BJP the one seat which is still vacant is for Agarwal.

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