BJP Yet to Announce Its Candidate for Prestigious Gorakhpur Seat
After winning over the influential Nishads of the area, BJP reconsidering their ticket as SP candidate gains ground.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to field its candidate for the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat. Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ram Bhuwal Nishad has emerged a strong contender for the prestigious seat represented by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for five consecutive terms.
Tribune had reported earlier that in what could be called a coup, sitting Gorakhpur MP Praveen Nishad had joined the BJP. Adityanath had also poached the late Yamuna Nishad’s son Amrendra Nishad and wife Rajmati Devi to the BJP. They are another influential Nishad family in the region. Their joining the saffron party was reportedly considered a game-changer at the time, but now the advantage seems to have waned.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has fielded two-time MLA from Gorakhpur (rural) Ram Bhuwal Nishad as the mahagathbandhan candidate, to split the sizeable Nishad votes in the constituency strategically. Ram Bhuwal Nishad is a more seasoned politician than Praveen Nishad. The former is also wooing Dalit and other OBC votes of alliance partners.
Sources told Tribune that during a BJP review meeting, when party president Amit Shah asked party leaders who should be fielded for the seat, everyone seemed to be in consensus that only Adityanath could win Gorakhpur back. However, as per reports, Yogi is reluctant to contest, smelling a conspiracy to move him out of the state.
Reports speculate that the BJP might give its Gorakhpur ticket to Pipraich sitting OBC MLA Mahendra Pal Singh, considering the caste configuration there. This would entail shifting Gorakhpur MP Praveen Nishad to Bhadohi and promising his father Sanjay Nishad a Rajya Sabha seat. Yamuna Nishad’s son Amrendra Nishad may be later fielded from Piparich in a likely by-election.