Uttar Pradesh on
Thursday is voting for the sixth of its seven-phase Assembly polls. 57 Assembly
constituencies across 10 districts are going to the polls in this crucial phase
with heavyweight candidates whose performance will decide who wins Uttar

The biggest
heavyweight in the sixth phase in Yogi Adityanath. The 49-year-old
monk-turned-chief minister has been the face of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s
campaign in Uttar Pradesh and the 2022 Assembly elections in India’s biggest
state are largely a referendum on Yogi’s government.

Here’s a list of
the key battles in the penultimate phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections:

Gorakhpur (urban)

Gorakhpur is where
the heart of UP politics moved after BJP pummelled the Samajwadi Party (SP) in
the 2017 Assembly elections. The political centre of Gorakhpur is the Gorakhpur
Math, and the man at the centre of operations of the Gorakhpur Math is Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Gorakhpur is also among
BJP’s strongest-holds. The saffron party has been winning the seat since the
1990s. Against him stands SP’s Shubhawati Shukla, who has support from camps
within the BJP from those opposed to Adityanath. While SP will be banking on votes
against the dominant Thakur community in Gorakhpur, the more dramatic challenge
for Adityanath is from a political outlier – Chandrasekhar Azad Raavan.

Raavan, the chief
of the Bhim Army, and a prolific Dalit youth activist. He made headlines during
the anti-CAA protests. However, Raavan’s direct challenge to Adityanath is set
to be more symbolic than real.

In the 2017
Assembly elections, BJP’s Radha Mohan Das Agarwal won the Gorakhpur urban
constituency with 55.85% of the vote. Congress’ Rana Rahul Singh came second
with 28.10% of the vote. BSP’s Janardhan Chaudhary came third with 11.10% of
the vote.

Tamkuhi Raj

Tamkuhi Raj in UP’s
Kushinagar district is the stronghold of Congress’ state unit chief Ajay Kumar
Lallu. Lallu, a close confidante of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, has won the Tamkuhi
Raj seat twice and is seeking re-election for its third term.  

In 2017, Lallu
defeated BJP’s Jagadish Mishra with 28.8% of the vote. The 42-year-old Congress
leader has courted arrest over 40 times.


Itwa is one of the five Assembly
constituencies in the Domariyaganj Lok Sabha constituency. Here, Samajwadi
Party’s Mata Prasad Pandey is going up against the incumbent MLA Satish Chandra
Dwivedi of the BJP. Pandey, a former Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, had
won the Itwa seat six times – 1980, 1985, 1989, 2002, 2007 and 2012.

In 2017, BJP’s Satish Chandra Diwedi won 37.39%
of the vote, BSP’s Arshad Khursheed won 30.98% of the vote and the SP came in
third with 29.27% of the vote.


Deoria borders the state of Bihar and is
regarded as a stronghold of the Tripathi community. The BJP candidate from Deoria
is Shalabh Mani Tripathi, an influential leader in the community. Tripathi is a
close aide of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and also serves as his media

BJP won the Deoria seat in 2012 with
Janmejay Singh. Singh, however, passed in 2012 which led to a bye-election in
2020. The bye-election was won by Shalabh Mani Tripathi with 40.42% of the vote.
SP’s Barahamashankar Tripathi won 28.6% of the vote.


Padrauna, the headquarter of the
Kushinagar district, is set to see a four-way contest. All the four major
players – BJP, SP, Congress and BSP, will be hoping to score in this seat.
Padrauna is the home constituency of RPN Singh, a senior leader once considered
close to Rahul Gandhi, who switched ships to the BJP in the run-up to the
polls. Samajwadi Party’s candidate in Padrauna is Vikrama Yadav and Congress’
candidate is Mohammed Zahiruddin. Pavan Kumar Upadhyay is BSP’s candidate.