Battle for UP: SP candidate seeks blessings from BJP leaders in fight against Yogi


The election scenario in Gorakhpur took a curious turn when a photograph of the Samajwadi Party candidate Shubhawati Shukla touching the feet of Union Minister Shiv Pratap Shukla was posted on social media.

In another similar photograph, Shubhawati Shukla is seen taking the blessings of former BJP MP and retired Lieutenant General, Prakash Mani Tripathi, at his Civil Lines residence in Gorakhpur.

Both the BJP leaders are known as rivals of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in local politics.

Yogi Adityanath is seeking election from Gorakhpur as the BJP candidate.

The SP candidate is the widow of BJP leader, late Upendra Dutt Shukla, a known rival of the chief minister.

Shubhawati and her two sons joined the Samajwadi Party recently and accused the BJP of not caring for them after her husband’s demise.

Shiv Pratap Shukla, a Rajya Sabha MP, is seen as an influential Brahmin face in Purvanchal. He was MLA from Gorakhpur in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1996 but in 2002, Radha Mohan Das Agarwal defeated him on a Hindu Mahasabha ticket with Yogi’s backing and support.

“BJP needs support of Brahmins in Gorakhpur Urban seat which has 19 per cent Brahmins. The SP candidate is apparently trying to send out a message that she enjoys the support of Brahmin leaders in a land that is known for its legendary Thakur-Brahmin hostility. Yogi Adityanath is a Thakur and he even said in a recent interview that he was proud to belong to the Thakur community,” said a political analyst.

Though there are no surprises about the outcome of the election in Gorakhpur, Shubhawati Shukla is trying to make most of the divide within the BJP.

It is common knowledge here that Brahmins in the BJP have been side-lined after Yogi Adityanath’s rise to power.

Shubhwati’s strategists are making her take advantage of the situation. One photograph conveys more than words and this is what she has done,” said a party functionary in Gorakhpur.

He added that the photograph may not change much for the SP candidate but it has definitely caused embarrassment for the chief minister.



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