Addressing his 16th — and last — public meeting in Gorakhpur ahead of Sunday’s byelection for the Lok Sabha constituency that sent him to Parliament on five consecutive occasions, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said the Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded an “imported” candidate, and that the people of UP do not want rule of “Aurangzeb” in the state.
Referring to BSP’s support to SP in the bypolls, Adityanath, who addressed four rallies in Gorakhpur Friday, said, “When the SP found that the tactic of fielding imported candidate is not working, it mounted elephant (BSP’s poll symbol) on bicycle (SP’s symbol)…that cycle has already dismantled.”
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He pointed out that against BJP fielding local party worker Upendra Shukla, the SP “imported” its candidate, Nishad Party leader Praveen Kumar Nishad. Maintaining that the people want good governance and development in the state, he said, “People do not want the rule of Aurangzeb in the state.”
Adityanath said this while addressing a meeting in Nishad caste-dominated Unwal town, in Sehjanwa Assembly segment, where BJP leader Uma Shankar Nishad was recently elected chairman of the local body.
Canvassing for bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies concluded on Friday; both seats go to the polls on Sunday.
Sources in BJP said the party is concerned more about Gorakhpur because let alone defeat, even a decline in margin of victory compared to 2014, could send adverse message for the party ahead of 2019 polls. The BJP aims to win all 80 Lok Sabha seats from UP in 2019, up from of 73 it won from UP in 2014.
Besides addressing as many as 16 pre-election meetings, Adityanath, eager to hold on to and increase the victory margin of 3.13 lakh votes with which he had won in 2014, has also appealed for a bigger voter turnout in his meetings.
In 2014 General Election, Adityanath had secured 5.39 lakh votes, while SP’s Rajmati had got 2.26 lakh votes and BSP’s Ram Bhuval 1.76 lakh. Bhuval had later joined BJP and is now in SP.
Several state ministers have taken part in Gorakhpur canvassing. The BJP also reconstituted the organisational units down to the grassroots level and adjusted the Hindu YuvaVahini (HYV) leaders in these units to prevent any loss of votes due to differences between the BJP and HYV cadres.