Lucknow | Jagran News Desk: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday took a swipe on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath soon after the BJP announced that the CM will be contesting the upcoming state assembly elections from his stronghold Gorakhpur. Hitting out at the CM, Yadav said that he is thankful to the BJP for sending Yogi Adityanath to Gorakhpur else the people of the state will have to do it in the elections.

Akhilesh Yadav's dig at the Chief Minister came soon after BJP released the first list of 107 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022. As per the list, Yogi Adityanath will be contesting the polls from Gorakhpur while his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya has been fielded from the Sirathu seat in Prayagraj district.

Hitting out at Yogi Adityanatha, SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav said, "I'm thankful to BJP. They have sent him home even before the polls, though people would have done it". The SP chief further said that there is no need for Yogi Adityanath to come to Lucknow from Gorakhpur and he should remain there.

"Speculation was rife over Yogi Adityanath contesting from Ayodhya, Prayagraj and then this. Yogi should stay there. There is no need for him to come from Gorakhpur", Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav added.

The sharp retort from SP chief and BJP arch-rivals in the upcoming polls came as earlier it was reported that the BJP is mulling to field Adityanath from Ayodhya seat or Mathura. It was also reported that a consensus was also reached on Yogi's candidature from Ayodhya, however, the party quashed all reports and announced his candidature from Gorakhpur, his traditional political turf which he has represented in Lok Sabha for five consecutive terms.

Yogi Adityanath has been the Member of Parliament from the Gorakhpur constituency, Uttar Pradesh, for five consecutive terms since 1998. However, the 49-year-old has never contested the state assembly polls and will be contesting the 2022 polls for the first time.

Elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP won a landslide victory winning 312 Assembly seats. The party secured a 39.67 per cent vote share in the elections for 403-member Assembly. Samajwadi Party (SP) bagged 47 seats, BSP won 19 while Congress could manage to win only seven seats.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan