Gauri Pandey is not eligible to vote, but she is rooting for her father and Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Pawan Pandey in the eagerly-watched election in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya constituency.
Every morning, the seven-year-old girl religiously accompanies her father to his door-to-door campaigning before returning home for her online classes. “Uncle, mere Papa ko vote dijiyega. Akhilesh (Yadav) ji CM banenge, to sab kaam hoga.” Please vote for my father. When Akhilesh Yadav will become chief minister, all your problems will get resolved.
While the opposition Samajwadi Party has declared the candidature of Pawan Pandey, the BJP is yet to come out with its nominee after reports claimed that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath may enter the fray from the temple town, symbolising the surge of Hindutva not only in the state, but across the country in recent years.
Pandey, as a student leader of Lucknow University, had won 2012 assembly polls from the seat by defeating BJP's Lallu Singh and also became a minister in Akhilesh Yadav's cabinet. He, however, lost to BJP's Ved Prakash Gupta in 2017.