Lucknow, Jan 15 (UNI): As Bharatiya Janata Party pitches Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as its candidate from Gorakhpur, he will become the first CM to contest Assembly polls, after nearly 15 years.
Last time, it was in 2007, when Samajwadi Party (SP) patron Mulayam Singh Yadav contested the polls while being the CM. Though Mulayam won from Gunnaur seat, the party lost the election as well as power in the state.
In fact, Mulayam too was not an MLA when he contested as CM in 2003. When he became the CM for the third time in 2003, he had to resign from the Lok Sabha. But instead of opting to be a member of the Council, he chose to contest by-election from Gunnaur.
From the last 15 years, whether it had been Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, SP president Akhilesh Yadav or even the current CM Adityanath, they all have been the member of UP Legislative Council.
In fact, Mayawati started the trend of being elected as a CM indirectly. In 2007, when BSP came to power with the strength of 206 MLAs in the House of 403 members, Mayawati preferred not to contest the elections as she was a member of the Lok Sabha at that time.
When BSP formed the government, Mayawati became the chief minister. Later, she became member of the Legislative Council as it is mandatory for the CM or in fact any Minister, to be a member of either House, whether Vidhan Sabha or the Vidhan Parishad.
Similar was the case with SP president Akhilesh Yadav. When SP came to power in 2012 with 224 MLAs, party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav was the leader. Akhilesh, at that time, was an MP from Kannauj.
In a sudden move, Mulayam passed the baton to Akhilesh and became the CM. The SP president, instead of contesting by-election from an Assembly seat, opted to be a member of the upper house.
In 2017, BJP did not project its CM candidate and the entire election was heavily based on the name and face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Riding high on Modi wave, the party along with its allies, won 325 seats.
After much brain-storming Yogi Adityanath, who was then an MP from Gorakhpur, was named as the CM. Like his predecessors, Yogi too opted for the Council, along with his two deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma.
In the long history of UP politics before Mayawati, BJP leader Ram Prakash Gupta was the only exception, who was not an elected representative. He was made the CM after Kalyan Singh stepped down from the post abruptly. As Gupta’s appointment was sudden, he took the Council way to remain on the post, but his term was very short.
Gupta remained in the office for less than one year, after that Rajnath Singh took the reins as the new CM. Rajnath, instead of being a member of Council, decided to contest the bypolls from Haidergarh seat in Barabanki district and won easily.