The BJP is considering fielding Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Ayodhya as its senior leaders meet to finalise candidates for the assembly polls starting from February 10.
Sources said the Ayodhya seat has been discussed within the party as the constituency from where he may be fielded but added that a final decision will be taken by the party’s top brass.
The BJP’s Central Election Committee, whose members include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is likely to meet soon to finalise its candidates for a large number of seats, including in those going to the polls in the first two phases on February 10 and 14.
BJP in a crucial meeting in the past two days has scrutinised candidates’ names for almost 300 seats while names for 175 candidates have almost been finalised.
On Thursday also, the party will hold a meeting to finalise candidates’ names for the remaining seats.
In 2017, BJP faced defeat in around 90 seats, therefore, candidates in such constituencies may be replaced.
Seats of those cabinet ministers whose report card has not been up to the mark and those with whom people are not happy may be changed.
This time, the party is focussing more on reshuffling seats of sitting MLAs rather than not giving them the ticket at all.
Yogi Adityanath is most likely to contest elections from Ayodhya seat.
Ayodhya, Mathura and his traditional constituency Gorakhpur, which he has represented in Lok Sabha a number of times, have been seen as the most likely seat of choice for Adityanath, a key Hindutva face of the party who is also the head priest of the Goraknath Math.
Ayodhya, the sources said, ticks many boxes as the ongoing construction of the Ram temple has boosted its political profile for the BJP. The town falls in the Awadh region, where Samajwadi Party has been traditionally strong, and if Adityanath is fielded from there, then it may boost the Hindutva plan in the area, including parts of the neighbouring Poorvanchal.
The chief minister and other senior party leaders from the state, including two deputy chief ministers and its state unit chief Swatantra Dev Singh, have been holding consultations with the central leadership in the national capital for the last two days.
Ayodhya seat is currently represented by BJP’s Ved Prakash Gupta in the assembly.
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