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From BJP’s Gorakhpur, BSP’s Ambedkarnagar to SP’s Azamgarh, It’s Battle of Bastions in UP Final Phases

By: Qazi Faraz Ahmad

News18.com

Last Updated: March 01, 2022, 16:30 IST

Polling in UP's sixth phase will be held on March 3 in 57 constituencies in 10 districts including Ambedkarnagar, Gorakhpur and Kushinagar. Voting in the last phase will take place on March 7 in 54 seats in nine districts including Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Varanasi and Mirzapur. (Representative image/Reuters)

Polling in UP's sixth phase will be held on March 3 in 57 constituencies in 10 districts including Ambedkarnagar, Gorakhpur and Kushinagar. Voting in the last phase will take place on March 7 in 54 seats in nine districts including Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Varanasi and Mirzapur. (Representative image/Reuters)

CM Yogi Adityanath is contesting from Gorakhpur in Phase 6 on March 3. Ambedkarnagar, Azamgarh and Varanasi are also key districts. Om Prakash Rajbhar will fight from Zahoorabad seat in Ghazipur.

From BJP’s stronghold Gorakhpur to Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Ambedkarnagar to Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Azamgarh, the last two legs of Uttar Pradesh election on March 3 and March 7 will be the battle of bastions.

The polling in the sixth phase will be held on March 3 in 57 assembly constituencies in 10 districts including Ambedkarnagar, Balrampur, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria and Ballia. Voting in the last and seventh phase will take place on March 7 in 54 assembly constituencies in nine districts including Azamgarh, Mau, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Sonbhadra.

In the sixth phase, Gorakhpur Sadar will be an important seat to watch out for as chief minister Yogi Adityanath will be contesting his first-ever assembly election from there. Yogi Adityanath has been an MP from Gorakhpur several times but this is the first time that he will be contesting an assembly election.

For 31 years, the Gorakhpur Sadar assembly seat has been a stronghold of BJP. This time the SP has fielded Subhavati Shukla, wife of former BJP vice-president Late Upendra Dutt Shukla against Yogi Adityanath. Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad is also the candidate of Azad Samaj Party from here. BSP’s Khwaja Shamsuddin and Congress’s Chetna Pandey are also the contestants.

Ambedkarnagar, which was once considered as the bastion of BSP, has incumbent BSP MP Ritesh Pandey, son of former BSP MP from the constituency, Rakesh, who has recently switched over to the SP. The Pandey family has a clout in the district, which could impact the results after Rakesh switched over to the SP ahead of polls.

Former minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, Swami Prasad Maurya, who recently jumped the ship from BJP to the Samajwadi Party, will be trying his luck this time from Fazilnagar seat in Kushinagar. Maurya had earlier contested from Padrauna assembly seat in Kushinagar. The BSP has fielded Iliyas Ansari from this seat while the BJP has given ticket to Surendra Kushwaha.

Another former BJP minister and now chief of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party Om Prakash Rajbhar will fight from Zahoorabad assembly seat in Ghazipur, which will vote on March 7. Rajbhar has alleged that the BJP had been ignoring the backward classes in the state. Rajbhar’s party is contesting the polls in alliance with the Samajwadi Party.

Azamgarh, which is considered as the citadel of Samajwadi Party, has incumbent MP and party chief Akhilesh Yadav who contested from Karhal assembly seat in Mainpuri district in phase four of the state election. This is Akhilesh Yadav’s first-ever assembly election and the SP will be looking to grab all the assembly seats of Azamgarh and adjoining districts.

Apart from this, polling will be held on March 7 in eight seats of Varanasi, which is the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP will be aiming to win all the eight assembly seats of the high-profile constituency.

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first published:March 01, 2022, 16:18 IST
last updated:March 01, 2022, 16:30 IST