BJP eyes Yadav leaders to eat into SP vote bank

Saffron party has no able leader from this influential clan

 In an apparent bid to increase its tally of seats from Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP is trying to make a dent in the Samajwadi Party stronghold in western UP by roping in a few influential Yadav leaders.

According to state BJP sources here, the saffron party has set its eyes on leaders like D P Yadav and others, who it feels may infuse a new lease of life in the party’s electoral pros-pects on some Lok Sabha seats in the forthcoming general elections.
Although D P Yadav has several criminal cases pending against him, he had formed a new political outfit and joined BSP in 2007.

Earlier, Yadav was shown the door by BSP chief Mayawati just before the recent Assembly polls. His attempt to join SP was thwarted by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, though some SP leaders were in favour of his return to the party fold.
State BJP leaders said the party may not be averse in taking D P Yadav in its fold. “D P Yadav is an influential Yadav leader, especially in the western region, and the BJP currently has no leader of the community worth any importance,” said a senior BJP leader here.

“After being spurned by SP, Yadav has not been left with much options. He may not be averse to joining BJP,” the leader said.

More leaders

Besides D P Yadav, BJP is also trying to rope in some other leaders of the clan, who have failed to get adequately compensated by SP and were not happy with the SP leadership.
While some leaders may oppose D P Yadav’s entry due to his ‘tainted’ background, the BJP leader said there could be a consolidation of ‘Lodh’ (a backward community) around the party after the return of former chief minister Kalyan Singh, who himself is a Lodh. “If we are able to secure some Yadav votes, we will be better placed in the region,” the leader added.

The BJP had inducted former UP minister and scam-tainted BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha just before the Assembly polls and paid a heavy price in the elections. The party could secure only 49 seats.

Kalyan Singh has already indicated that he may return to BJP in the next few days.

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