The BJP candidate in Chillupar is Rajesh Tripathi, who had defeated Tiwari in 2007 and 2012 assembly elections…reports Asian Lite News
The legendary Thakur-Brahmin war in eastern Uttar Pradesh has come into full play in Chillupar assembly seat of Gorakhpur.
Chillupar is the stronghold of erstwhile mafia don and former minister Hari Shankar Tiwari.
Though Tiwari, 86, has retired from active politics, he has handed over the baton to his sons — Bhisham Shankar Tiwari, former MP, and Vinay Shankar Tiwari, a legislator.
Vinay Shankar Tiwari, who quit BSP to join SP, is now a candidate from Chillupar.
The hostility between the Tiwari family and Yogi Adityanath is an extension of the Thakur-Brahmin divide which widened further when, after coming to power, Yogi Adityanath’s police raided the home of Hari Shankar Tiwari, ostensibly to look for an accused in a theft case.
The incident intensified the caste war that has been strongly simmering in the region for the past five years.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said in Chillupar, “In the five years of BJP rule, a new Uttar Pradesh has emerged, where there is no place for mafia and criminals.”
The reference was obviously to the Tiwari family.
He further said criminals running organised gangs were on the run and people in rural and urban areas of the state were living without any fear. He said that the mafia had sullied the image of Gorakhpur.
“Earlier, youths from Gorakhpur were not given jobs. The mafia misguided them and lured them into their gangs. The BJP government checked the trend by launching a drive against criminal gangs. The people of the region also busted the myth that mafia cannot be defeated in the elections,” he said.
The BJP candidate in Chillupar is Rajesh Tripathi, who had defeated Tiwari in 2007 and 2012 assembly elections.
Among Brahmins, the Tiwari family is the most respected in Purvanchal and local people claim that Brahmin candidates in the region continue to take the blessings of Hari Shankar Tiwari to win elections.
“Yogi Adityanath proudly claims to be a Thakur and represents the Thakur lobby in the region. This time, the elections have divided the two communities and their leaders are making no bones about supporting candidates from their communities,” says Rishu Singh, a local journalist.
Before the emergence of Yogi, it was gangster turned politician Virendra Pratap Shahi, who belonged to the Thakur community, who had challenged the might of Tiwari. Later, the two called for truce and Shahi was murdered in 1997.
After brutal murder of Shahi, the Thakur community members rallied behind young Yogi Adityanath, whom then was designated as successor to Mahant Avaidyanath.
Yogi Adityanath launched the ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV)’ to win support of the upper caste, backwards and Dalits and counter the muscle power of Tiwari and other political rivals.