Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday appealed to voters in Gorakhpur to reject the “unholy and corrupt alliance” of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in the upcoming Lok Sabha bypolls to two seats. His remark came a day after BSP chief Mayawati said that though her party was not contesting the bypolls, her workers and supporters would vote for the “strongest candidate” in a position to defeat the BJP. The SP is the prime opponent of the BJP in the bypolls, and Ms. Mayawati’s call would mean that the BSP workers would support the SP candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur.Addressing a rally in Gorakhpur city, Mr. Adityanath said the SP and BSP had agreed on a “deal” to throw the State back into anarchy and corruption.Mr. Adityanath said the BSP was supporting the SP despite “the SP in the past promising to destroy the Ambedkar memorial in Lucknow if it came to power, and the State guest house incident [of 1995 in which SP leaders allegedly humiliated her]”.In another rally in Campierganj, Mr. Adityanath said the two rivals had been forced to come together to save themselves “just like the snake and the mole-rat take shelter in the same place to survive the floods”.”I pity them. But in reality, they are looteras (plunderers). They looted the State, messed with the future of the youth, pushed farmers to despair and defamed the State,” the Chief Minister said.Ms. Mayawati, however, has already clarified that her support to the SP in the bypolls or Rajya Sabha elections did not amount to a formal alliance with the party and the final decision in that regard would be taken after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are declared. Holi celebrationsIn his election rallies, Mr. Adityanath is also emphasising that on Holi festival, Muslims shifted their timings for Friday prayers so that the Hindu festival could be celebrated without any glitches.”Friday prayers come 52 times in a year, the timing can be changed. They changed it from noon to 2 p.m. And we gave full freedom to celebrate Holi with all the fun and frolic,” said Mr. Adityanath.The ruling BJP has picked its Gorakhpur region head Upendra Shukla, a Brahmin, to defend the political bastion of the Chief Minister, who held the seat from 1998 and exerts considerable influence in the region through the Gorakhnath temple of which he is head priest. The Gorakhnath Peeth has held the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat since 1989, with Mahant Avaidyanath, Yogi Adityanath’s guru, winning till 1998.If Mr. Shukla wins, Gorakhpur would get its first BJP MP in 28 years who is not directly from the temple. He faces a challenge from Praveen Nishad, the son of Nishad Party founder Sanjay Nishad. He is fighting on an SP ticket.
MOST READ The team president and Hall of Famer spoke with reporters at Michigan State, where he and the 1979 national championship team he led were celebrated before the ninth-ranked Spartans beat Minnesota.The Lakers were in pursuit of disgruntled New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis and many of their players were mentioned as possibly being dealt before the deadline Thursday. The franchise ended up trading Michael Beasley, Ivica Zubac and rookie Svi Mykhailiuk in a pair of deals to acquire Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“I love our team. I love the guys,” Johnson said. “It’s a tough part of our business whether you’re mentioned in trade talk, or you get traded. It’s a tough part of professional sports, but they came together and played great against Boston. My job is to make sure we stay together as a team and stay focused on the goal, which is to make the playoffs.”The Lakers, who are in 10th place in the Western Conference, play at Philadelphia on Sunday. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Phoenix, SMBeer seek key victories US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes EL SEGUNDO, CA – SEPTEMBER 20: Earvin “Magic” Johnson discusses the upcoming Los Angeles Lakers’ season at UCLA Health Training Center on September 20, 2018 in El Segundo, California. Meg Oliphant/Getty Images/AFPEAST LANSING, Mich. — Magic Johnson plans to hug it out with the Los Angeles Lakers to help them cope with the fallout from the NBA trade deadline.“It’s a part of business, it’s a part of being a professional athlete,” he said Saturday. “I’m going to hug ’em and tell them that we got to come together and our goal is still in reach, which is to make the playoffs.”ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes View comments