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BJP in bind over Yogi's successor from Gorakhpur LS seat

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, DH News Services, Oct 22 2017, 18:07 IST
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. PTI file photo

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. PTI file photo

The BJP finds itself in a tight spot over the selection of its nominee for the prestigious bypoll in Gorakhpur, represented in the Lok Sabha by Yogi Adityanath before his anointment as Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

Though the dates for the bypolls to the two Lok Sabha constituencies of Gorakhpur and Phulpur have not yet been announced by the Election Commission (EC), sources said they could be held in December.

Sources in the BJP here said the saffron party was yet to zero in on Yogi's successor. ''It is not an easy choice,'' a senior UP BJP leader told DH.

The leader said the Gorakhpur LS seat had been represented by the 'mahants' (chiefs) of the influential Gorakshnath Peeth. Before Adityanath, who is currently the 'mahant' of the Peeth, it was represented by his guru Avaidyanath.

''There is a strong possibility that this time, the nominee from Gorakhpur may not be associated with the Gorakhnath temple. Therein lies the problem,'' the leader said.

BJP sources said the party leadership might ultimately leave the choice of the nominee from Gorakhpur to Adityanath. ''Gorakhsnath Peeth wields considerable influence in the city and the nearby districts.

Adityanath, who has represented the seat for four consecutive terms, knows it better than anyone else,'' the leader said.

Sources said the BJP leadership did not want to thrust its own nominee on Gorakhpur as it might not go down well with Adityanath.

The contest at Gorakhpur and Phulpur, which was held by Keshav Prasad Maurya before his appointment as UP's deputy chief minister, is expected to be interesting due to a strong possibility of a grand alliance between Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress.

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