Although the BJP has fielded the Bhojpuri star Ravi Kishan from the prestigious Gorakhpur seat in Uttar Pradesh, however, it is Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who wields power and authority when it comes to his bastion.

Yogi Adityanath first contested from Gorakhpur in 1998 which he won for five consecutive terms.

After taking over as Chief Minister in 2017, Yogi Adityanath has done to Gorakhpur what Mulayam Singh Yadav did to Saifai, his native village in Etawah.

Gorakhpur has witnessed an unprecedented drive for a makeover since Yogi Adityanath took over and most of the development projects have already been completed.

Besides, Gorakhpur holds in high esteem Goraksh Peeth, which is headed by Yogi Adityanath.

“The temple and Yogi Adityanath are now synonymous with each other and the work he has done is a bonus. Ravi Kishan is only a face but the real identity lies with the Chief Minister, ” says Ravindra Shahi, a local businessman.

Under the leadership of Yogi Aditynath, the UP government has worked on the revival of a fertiliser factory which was shut down for several years, besides a new LPG bottling plant has also been built.

The revival of closed sugar mills in the area has also been put on priority by the Yogi government.

Gorakhpur also has a branch of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to its name.

The Ramgarh Taal has been developed into a water sports complex and auditorium.

Land has also been allocated to the Education Department to set up a library and research centre.

“Besides these projects, beautification of parks, broadening of roads, redevelopment of Ramgarh Taal and availability of potable water to check water-borne Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) are also being undertaken, ” said a senior official in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

“When I first became MP, Gorakhpur was known as the “crime capital” of northern India and I took the support of social organisations, traders and youth to counter the mafia. Now, I want Gorakhpur should be known as a developed zone, ” the Chief Minister recently said.

Most importantly, Yogi Adityanath has ensured the eradication of Japanese Encephalitis from the region, thus saving the lives of hundreds of children every year.

Yogi Adityanath said that he was determined to change the identity of Gorakhpur.

The city’s airport, the civil terminal of which was inaugurated in 2017, has since gone on to become a bustling entry point to the city. It already has direct flights connecting to and from Delhi, Lucknow and some other major cities.

The state government is also working overtime to improve the power situation and ensure 24-hour power supply. Efforts are also being made to improve the quality of water supply in Gorakhpur city.

A special focus is on the 4, 000-odd families from the Vantangiya community which lives in forest areas in Gorakhpur and adjoining Maharajganj districts as it has been deprived of basic facilities like schools, hospitals and power supply since independence.

The Vantangiya community, brought from Burma now Myanmar for afforestation during colonial rule, got voting rights in September last year.

People across the political spectrum believe that Gorakhpur got a new identity under the regime of Yogi Adityanath.

What is more important is that Yogi Adityanath makes it a point to spend the weekend in Gorakhpur and meet local people.

“Yogi Adityanath spends more time in Gorakhpur than the sitting MP Ravi Kishan, who is seeking his second term as MP and meets more people than the actor-turned-politician. He is a true representative of the city and we vote for any candidate he supports, ” says Bhola Tiwari, a local party worker.

Ravi Kishan fully understands the influence that Yogi Adityanath holds over Gorakhpur and takes care to mention the Chief Minister’s name in every conversation.

The INDIA alliance has fielded TV and Bhojpuri film actress, Kajal Nishad of Congress, while Javed Simnanai will lead BSP in the upcoming mega elections from Gorakhpur.

Gorakhpur goes to polls on May 13.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *