Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad became the first candidate to fight against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur. The Dalit leader had earlier said that he would contest against Yogi Adityanath in the February-March election.

On Thursday, his party formally announced it, days after the BJP declared that Yogi Adityanath would contest the Uttar Pradesh election from Gorakhpur Sadar.

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Yogi Adityanath is running for MLA for the first time. But his main rival will be the Samajwadi Party candidate, not announced yet. This will also be Chandrashekhar Azad’s first election.

The 34-year-old had famously backtracked after announcing in 2019 that he would contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He later explained that since he had no party at the time, it was best to support Mayawati’s party and the Congress.

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“It is not important for me to win a place in the UP assembly. It is important for me that Yogi Adityanath should not get to be in the assembly. So I will contest wherever he is contesting,” he had said last year.

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Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.