Adityanath was the youngest legislator in the 12th Lok Sabha in 1998 at the age of 26. Successor to former Hindu Maha Sabha president Mahant Avaidyanath at the Gorakhnath Mutt, he is pitted against Rajmati Nishad (SP), Ram Bhual Nishad (BSP), Astbhuja Prasad Tripathi (Congress) and Radhe Mohan Misra (AAP), among others.
"My agenda is Hindutva and development and they complement each other. Hindutva is guarantee of development and security. BJP's slogan also says 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (participation and development for all)," said the 42-year-old leader. Last time, he defeated his BSP rival Vinay Shankar Tiwari by a margin of over 2 lakh votes in the seat which has over 17 lakh electors.
"Politicians in the country are facing the problem of credibility as they don't communicate with their voters. In Gorakhpur, the situation is different as I have a direct connect with people. I have not deviated from my original agenda and am still working on the ideology and issues. I don't believe in difference between 'kathni' (words) and 'karni' (deeds)," Adityanath told PTI in an interview.
When asked about these issues, he said that Hindutva and development have always been his agenda. Gorakhpur has been a BJP bastion since 1989 and the last time Congress won this seat was in 1984 when Sheila Kaul was elected from here. On the role of Muslim voters in the elections, Adityanath said he is not seeking votes on communal lines.
"I am not asking for votes in the name of Hindu or Muslim. Only those who have faith in Indian nationalism should vote for me. I have visited several Muslim-dominated constituencies like Domariaganj and got good response," he said.
"We will provide security and development to all but we expect that no community should consider itself above law and the Constitution," he added.