Is BJP becoming irrelevant in Uttar Pradesh?

For a party, which had declared Uttar Pradesh as its bastion after securing a record 36.49 per cent votes barely 11 years back, the decline has been so sharp that its very relevance in the electoral politics in the state is being questioned by the political observers.

If the results of the recent Lok Sabha polls came as a setback for the BJP, the outcome of the recent bypolls on four Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh has lent further credence to the apprehensions that the saffron party is becoming irrelevant in this politically crucial state.

On one of the seats that went to bypolls, the BJP candidate polled a meagre 1.74 per cent votes barely a couple of hundreds more than an independent.

The BJP not only lost its sitting Moradabad West seat, its candidates lost their security deposits on two seats while the party had not put up its candidate on one seat.
The results have cast a pall of gloom in the party camp and the apprehensions that cropped up almost three months back after the Lok Sabha elections are “proving to be true”, opined a senior UP BJP leader.

BJP leaders feel that if immediate measures were not taken, the party may find itself relegated to the fourth place, which has been occupied by the Congress for more than a decade in the state.

“The BJP has run out of strong leaders... there is no leader in he UP unit, who can lead the party in the state and boost the sagging morale of the party workers,” quipped a top leader preferring anonymity.

“The party lacks leaders of stature of those in the BSP, SP and the Congress who have Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi besides former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who is in the SP camp now,” they said.

The leaders feel that at present there was no one in the BJP, who can match them in stature, appeal and standing among the masses.

In fact the lack of strong leaders has forced a section of the state party leaders to bat for Varun Gandhi, a political green horn and controversial MP from Pilibhit.

“Varun Gandhi should be made UP BJP chief. He has the potential to revive the party... he matches Kalyan Singh of his early days,” these leaders said.

A section of the state party leaders feel that the national president of the party, Rajnath Singh, besides discharging his current responsibilities, should  give maximum time to his home state at the moment of crisis.

The decline of the BJP has been so sharp and quick that it has also baffled the political analysts.

“Barely two years back the BJP was in contention for the first and second positions along with the BSP and the SP in the electoral battle,” said Prof Ramesh Dixit, a political analyst while speaking to Deccan Herald.

Divided house

Prof Dixit attributes the saffron party’s decline to “lack of young leaders” and “internal bickerings”. “There are so many groups within the party that it is impossible to bring them together,” he said.

State BJP leaders also subscribe to Prof Dixit’s views. “There are camps led by Lalji Tandon, Om Prakash Singh, Kalraj Mishra, Rajnath Singh... and many others,” said another senior leader.

An example of the internal bickering came to the front barely a couple of days back when the BJP high command announced the candidate for the forthcoming Lucknow West Assembly bypoll.

Irked over denial of ticket to party MP Lalji Tandon’s son Goaplji Tandon, BJP workers created ruckus at the state party headquarters and openly decried Rajnath Singh in the presence of senior leaders.

They raised anti-Rajnath slogans inside the party office, much to the shock and dismay of office bearers and vowed to work against the official nominee Amit Puri.

Political analysts also opine that the BJP has run out of ideas. “Dissension at the top has demoralised the party workers at the grassroots level,” said Prof Dixit.

“The party does not have any plan or strategy to take on the might of the BSP and SP and the resurgent Congress,” quipped a state party leader.

“We are fast losing committed voters... once the urban voters used to vote en-block for the BJP but of late the situation has changed. We lost Bareilly Lok Sabha seat as a large chunk of urban voters supported the Congress,” he said.

“Perhaps the youngsters and urban voters find Rahul Gandhi more acceptable and feel that he could deliver,” the leader opined.

Prof Dixit also feels that the people now do not believe the saffron party. “BJP’s flip-flop on Ram Temple issue and other core issues has had a negative effect on the people, especially its vote-bank,” he said.

The state leaders say that the time was running out and the situation warranted immediate corrective measures failing which the saffron party will find itself struggling for the fourth place in the state politics.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry