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UP polls: Yogi Aditya Nath to retain dominance in Gorakhpur but tough fight for BJP on other seats

Gorakhpur: A day ahead of the sixth phase of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, BJP's biggest trump card and state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's dominance is likely to be continued in the party's stronghold Gorakhpur but the saffron brigade may face a strong fight with Samajwadi Party on half of the nine seats.

The majority of residents are happy due to the rapid development of Gorakhpur City in the last three years on grounds of widening of roads; almost round the clock electricity; low crime graph; construction of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Rs 8,600 crore fertilizer plant; as well as beautification of famous Ramgarh Tal.
However, unemployment and inflation are key factors on which youth and a certain group are not happy with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Anti-incumbency is also a major factor in a few seats.

Advocate by profession, Sudhanshu Pandey, a resident of the Golghar area, told ANI that "AIIMS and fertilizer plant were established by the Yogi government but locals could not get employment as it was expected".
Meanwhile, Pandey lauded CM Adityanath for the development of Gorakhpur and said "wide roads, better electricity, converting Ramgarh Tal as a tourist hub and many more such things are really admirable work of Chief Minister".

The advocate also expects that the BJP will fulfill its IT hub and Industrial hub promises done in 2017 when the BJP had won eight out of nine Assembly constituencies in Gorakhpur following which the then MP, Yogi Adityanath, became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) biggest trump card in the district Gorakhpur is Yogi Adityanath and he is popular among residents.

"Issues are less in this elections as roads, electricity, AIIMS have been already provided by Baba (CM Yogi Adityanath). BJP did a lot of work here such as six-lane road, college, and medical...One who can compete with Baba ji is not born here," Kanhaiyalal Gupta, a shopkeeper in Dharmshala Bazar, told ANI.
A few people said they only see the faces of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Yogi. "Flag of Modi and Yogi will wave. BJP did great work on roads, cleanliness, and the development of Gorakhpur. Whatever is left will be completed by the Yogi government in the next five years," said Rajesh Gupta.

Another resident Vikram Bharti said, "I am not sure about other seats but Yogi ji will come here from Gorakhpur Urban seat as he has done a lot for the people here...".
Adityanath is contesting his first Assembly election from the Gorakhpur Sadar or Urban constituency, which will go to the polls along with 56 other seats in the sixth phase of the elections on March 3, the penultimate round of the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election.

Earlier, Adityanath represented the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat until 2017, when he was chosen as the UP Chief Minister after the Bharatiya Janata Party's landslide victory in state polls.
The Gorakhpur Sadar seat had also been a bastion of the BJP, which the party had never lost since 1967 from the days of Jan Sangh.

The Samajwadi Party has fielded Subhavati Shukla, the widow of late BJP leader Upendra Dutt Shukla, against Adityanath. The Congress has fielded Chetna Pandey and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) a first-timer in Khwaja Shamsuddin. Azad Samaj Party's Chandra Shekhar Azad 'Ravan', a young Dalit leader with a base in western Uttar Pradesh, is also in the fray for the seat.
Samajwadi Party hopes to garner votes from Brahmin, who seems to have some differences with Adityanath, and Yadav communities who are in good numbers in the Gorakhpur City Assembly constituency. Shekhawati had accused BJP of humiliating her husband and seeking votes in his name.

As the majority of people seem to be in favor of Adityanath, the electorate in the constituency also appeared to be attached so much with the temple that they would support anyone having association with it.
"We will vote for Gorakhnath Temple's head priest. The way to the temple is now covered within five minutes compared to previous days when the way takes more than half an hour. Besides, Waterpark, Zoo, Ramgarh Tal, road and electricity has been given by Yogi ji," Raj Chaurasia, a resident of Ganesh Chowk told ANI.

While a win at the Gorakhpur Sadar seat appeared to be a certainty, the BJP might not find it easy to win the other eight seats in the district. In 2017, BJP had won eight of the nine seats.
The BJP has denied tickets to four MLAs. One of these seats, Chauri Chaura, has gone to alliance partner Nishad Party and Shravan Nishad is the NDA nominee. New candidates are contesting from Sahjanwa and Khajni, while Gorakhpur Rural BJP candidate and MLA Vipin Singh is facing anti-incumbency. His opponent is Samajwadi Party's, Vijay Bahadur Yadav.

In Sahjanwa, BJP has fielded Pradeep Shukla, a first-time candidate. BSP has fielded a local mafia Sudhir Singh, who has attracted Thakur voters towards him to some extent.
In Pipraich, BJP MLA Mahendra Pal Singh is up against Samajwadi Party's Amrendra Nishad.

The NDA alliance is facing challenges on a few seats, such as Chauri Chaura. BJP rebel and popular leader Ajay Singh Tappu is contesting as an Independent and Samajwadi Party has fielded Brajesh Lal, an SC. On the ground, the core BJP voters are looking to back Tappu instead of the Nishad Party candidate.

There is also a word going around that Tappu has the backing of Gorakhnath temple.
As Adityanath and Akhilesh Yadav both had been campaigning extensively in Gorakhpur, the voting to be scheduled for March 3 will decide the fate of both keys contesting parties.
Gorakhpur is a city on the banks of River Rapti with a population of more than 6,73,446, the city is home to the popular Gorakhnath Math, a Gorakshanath temple. (ANI)

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