Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be contesting the Assembly election from his home turf – Gorakhpur City, the BJP announced on Saturday, 15 January.
This means that Yogi will become the first CM of the state in the last 18 years to stand for Assembly elections. His last two predecessors – Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati – were both members of the Upper House.
The Gorakhpur seat is considered to be a stronghold of the Gorakhnath Math, whose present Mahant or Chief Priest is Yogi Adityanath. Currently, this seat belongs to BJP candidate Radha Mohan Das Agarwal.
CM Adityanath had won this seat five times, until he became the chief minister in 2017.
Earlier, there were also speculations that Adityanath would be contesting from Ayodhya.
As it released the first list of candidates, the BJP also said that Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya will be contesting the Assembly polls from Sirathu seat.
"The decision has been made after much deliberation... the final decision (was taken) by the top leadership of the party," Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters.
Among the important constituencies released in this list, Kairana will be contested by BJP's Mriganka Singh, Sangeet Som is contesting from Sardhana, Suresh Khanna will be contesting from Shahjahanpur and Kamal Dutt Sharma will be contesting from Meerut.
In all, the BJP said that 10 seats have been given to women candidates to contest from, 44 seats for OBC candidates and 19 seats for SC candidates in the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
(With inputs from ANI)