The BJP, facing a rebellion in the ranks with exit of six leaders over the last two days in Uttar Pradesh, is considering fielding Yogi Adityanath from Ayodhya in the assembly polls, say sources. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to sign off on the proposal, the sources add.
The 49-year-old Chief Minister is from Eastern UP, and has served as a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur. However, Eastern UP is in churn right now for with OBC leaders from there quitting the BJP.
Ayodhya, the sources said, checks many boxes as the ongoing construction of the Ram temple has boosted its political profile for the BJP. It also allows the Chief Minister to capitalise on and further build his brand as Hindutva icon. The temple town falls in the Awadh region, where Samajwadi Party has been traditionally strong.
The Ayodhya seat is currently represented by BJP's Ved Prakash Gupta in the assembly.
A marathon 10-hour meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party's Core Committee on the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls was held on Tuesday wherein Union Home Minister Amit Shah conducted a sector-wise review and took feedback from the regional in charges about the ground reality in the state.
The possibility of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister contesting from Ayodhya did come up at the meeting.
The saffron-robed Chief Minister is currently a member of the legislative council. He had recently said that he is willing to contest the assembly polls from wherever the party's top brass decides.
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.
Uttar Pradesh - the politically prized state - goes to polls in seven phases, starting February 10. The votes will be counted on March 10.