Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow
Even as Yogi Adityanath is likely to contest the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections as a BJP candidate from Ayodhya, the mayor of Ayodhya has termed the prospects as good tidings for the temple town.
“There is enthusiasm among the people over the possibility of Yogiji contesting from Ayodhya. It would be a good fortune for the religious city and expedite the ongoing works, including the Lord Ram temple,” Ayodhya mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay told this writer.
He said the saints always wanted Adityanath to take the electoral plunge from Ayodhya. “While the temple construction is on, the city will soon witness the arrival of a large number of tourists. If Yogiji represents Ayodhya, it would further enhance its stature.”
UP assembly elections, concurrently with Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa assemblies, would be held in seven rounds in Feb and March 2022 viz. Feb 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7.
Although, the grapevine, since last year, said Adityanath could be fielded by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Ayodhya in the 2022 UP polls, these rumours have gained heft over the past two days with polling less than a month away.
Besides, the BJP is looking at gaining traction across more than 80 seats in the Central UP (Awadh) region if Yogi contests from Ayodhya, the ground zero of Hindutva politics.
The saffron party is encouraged by the fact that the BJP had made massive electoral gains after Narendra Modi contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi. It helped the party get a thumping majority by consolidating the Hindu votes and transcending the caste and regional borderlines in UP through counter polarisation of electorates.
According to reports, the BJP core committee meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday had put its seal of approval on fielding Adityanath from Ayodhya, although the official announcement is yet to be made public.
At the same time, the decision to field the Hindutva posterboy would help the party in garnering poll mileage in nearly 10 bordering Eastern UP (Purvanchal) districts given his perceptible unapologetic public discourse on issues of nationalism, cultural heritage and religion.
Since, Gorakhpur has long been the turf of Yogi Adityanath, the saffron party does not want to confine the CM to merely Purvanchal region, which already boasts of Modi as the party’s biggest election mascot.