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The Bharatiya Janta Party has chosen Upendra Shukla to contest from the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat vacated by Yogi Adityanath when he became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. This is the first time Sukhla will be trying his luck in electoral politics. Also, interestingly, it is for the first time in over three decades that the BJP has picked someone from outside the Gorakhnath temple to vie for the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat, according to a report in the Indian Express. For the past 29 years, Gorakhpur has been represented in the Lok Sabha by head priests of the Gorakhnath temple. Traditionally, the chief mahant of Gorakhnath temple contests from the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat. But, Shukla, with his stature and grip over the regional politics, seemed a reasonable choice when the BJP high command this time chose to look outside the temple for a candidate. Currently, he is the regional head of the BJP from Gorakhpur, which comprises 64 Legislative Assembly seats and 12 Lok Sabha seats.
This region is huge and Shukla has headed the party's operations here since 2014.A very active member of the party, Shukla has had a strong connection with the people and also enjoys the faith of party workers, wrote News18 Hindi in a recent report. Since his student days, he has been actively participating in politics. He is known as a Brahman face in the party and is a close aide to another party veteran Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State, Finance, in the Union government. With his undying belief in the party's ideology, Shukla was instrumental in securing huge victories for the party in the Purvanchal region during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections of last year. The Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat has historically been a stronghold for the BJP. Yogi Adityanath has himself won this seat five elections from this seat on trot since 1998. However, he might have to weigh in to secure a victory for Upendra Shukla.