In a jolt to BJP, Hindu Yuva Vahini, floated by its firebrand leader and Lok Sabha member Yogi Adityanath, has fielded candidates against the saffron party in six Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh.
Adityanath, an MP from Gorakhpur, however, sought to distance himself from the decision, saying the step was illegal and against the policies of the outfit.
“We have fielded candidates on six seats spread over three districts in the eastern region of the state,” HYV state unit chief Sunil Singh said.
The seats are Padrauna, Khadda, Kasya (all Kushinagar), Paniyara (Gorakhpur) and Siswa and Pharenda (Maharajganj).
Interestingly, these candidates will cross swords with BJP’s official candidates whose names have already been declared for these six seats.
Aditynath, when contacted, said HYV is a social organisation and there are no plans before it to join politics.
“Action will be taken against all those venturing into politics as this is illegal and against the ideals and policies of HYV,” said Adityanath, a five-time BJP MP and star campaigner for the party in the upcoming polls.
Sunil, on the other hand, said HYV has been working on Hindutva agenda and this is the best opportunity for the Vahini to field candidates to set things right.
There had been a strong demand in BJP, especially in the stronghold of Adityanath, to declare him as the chief ministerial candidate in the elections.
Sources in the HYV said the outfit has identified 64 seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh to field its candidates.
They said the Vahini felt BJP has “insulted” their leader who is also the head priest of the famous Gorakhnath temple here.
“We will come out with a list of more candidates in the coming days,” an HYV leader requesting anonymity said.
Showing resentment over BJP not projecting Adityanath as the party’s chief ministerial candidate, he was also upset over BJP giving tickets to only two of the ten candidates recommended by the BJP leader.
He said the HYV felt their leader was being ignored in the party.