Highlights

  • Yogi Adityanath Vs Chandrashekhar Azad in Gorakhpur
  • Can Ravan pose a serious challenge to Yogi Adityanath?
  • Azad's Gorakhpur Gambit: Personal or Political?

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UP Election 2022 | Chandrashekhar Ravan challenges Yogi in Gorakhpur: Is it just headline hunting?

BJP has declared that CM Yogi will contest from Gorakhpur Sadar seat. And Dalit rights activist Chandrashekhar Azad has also announced his challenge.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan has declared that he will challenge UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath in his home turf of Gorakhpur in the upcoming Assembly polls.

Is it a mere headline hunting stunt or can Ravan pose a serious challenge to the CM?

BJP has declared that CM Yogi will contest from Gorakhpur Sadar seat. And Dalit rights activist Chandrashekhar Azad has also announced his challenge.

First a look at the Gorakhpur Sadar seat.

There are over 4 lakh voters in the Assembly constituency, most of which are Thakurs and Brahmins. Add to that about 40,000 Nishad community votes to the BJP kitty as Nishad Party is an ally.

Dalit voters, who are Azad's main catchment area, don't have much sway in this seat.

The Gorakhpur Sadar assembly seat has been with the BJP continuously since 1989, except once when it was won by an affiliate. In 2017, the BJP's Radha Mohan Das Agarwal won the seat by a margin of over 60,000 votes.

Yogi Adityanath is a five-time MP from Gorakhpur while Chandrashekhar Azad has never fought elections before.

So why is Ravan contesting from Gorakhpur?

It's more personal than political. The Dalit youth icon had declared back in November 2021 that he would contest against Yogi, who jailed him under NSA. Ravan has spent almost half of last 5 years in jail, thanks to Yogi.

On political level, Ravan has declared that his Azad Samaj Party will not ally Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party. Reports said that SP chief was ready to give Azad's party 3 seats, but he insisted on 25.

Ravan is a political rookie, his outfit, Bhim Army, is popular among Dalit youths, but has no significant organisational or political base in the state. Did he make a mistake by not accepting Akhilesh's offer? Is contesting against Yogi a strategy to remain in news in the election season?

Ravan aspires to take Mayawati's space in UP's Dalit politics.

Mayawati has all along rejected Azad's politics and his claim to be a leader of Dalits, who are 20% of UP's population.

Azad has over the years emerged as fierce youth icon of the community.

Click here for more special coverage on Assembly Elections News & Result

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