BJP on Monday announced Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan as its candidate from the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh.
The party also fielded sitting MP Sanjay Nishad as its candidate from Sant Kabir Nagar replacing Sharad Tripathi, who was involved in a physical fight with a local BJP MLA. Interestingly, Nishad had won the Gorakhpur seat in a bypoll as the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate and he was supported by the BSP, under the grand alliance between the two parties. Fighting on an SP ticket, his son Praveen Nishad too had defeated the BJP candidate from Gorakhpur seat in 2018 bypolls. However, Praveen too has joined BJP earlier this month.
The Gorakhpur Parliamentary seat was won five times by Yogi Adityanath before he took over the charge of UP chief minister. Following this, the seat went for bye-elections where the saffron party was defeated by the SP.
Adityanath’s guru Mahant Avaidyanth was elected from Gorakhpur in 1989 as a Hindu Mahasabha nominee. He was elected in 1991 and 1996 as a BJP nominee. His successor as head priest, Adityanath, won the seat as a BJP candidate for the next five elections in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014.
However, Yogi’s resignations following his election to UP’s legislative council in September 2017 necessitated the bye-election in March 2018. Upendra Shukla, the party’s regional unit president, was the candidate but he couldn’t win what was considered to be BJP’s safest seat.
(With Inputs from PTI)