BJP ready with UP poll agenda

BJP ready with UP poll agenda

The BJP has put together its broad electoral strategy for Uttar Pradesh, with the party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi slated to address rallies in the state with 80 Lok Sabha (LS) constituencies, which has been split into eight segments keeping in mind regions the BJP can score. 

BJP president Rajnath Singh held a UP core-group meeting here to formulate a broad poll strategy. The Muzaffarnagar communal riots came up for discussion as the party believes that the polarisation in western UP would help it make sizeable inroads into the Jat belt, as the Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) are perceived as pandering to only the Muslim community.

Though Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has been holding on to the Jat votes since his father Chaudhary Charan Singh had engineered political alliance between Jats and Muslims, the regional party’s failure in persuading authorities for prompt action has led the BJP leaders to be hopeful of repeating their past performances.

In 1989, the BJP had won four seats from the state in the LS poll. 
Dubbing the communal clashes as unfortunate, Rajnath Singh blamed the Akhilesh Yadav government and the Centre for the riots, which he said happened as both did not act on time.

“Had the Congress-led central government intervened in time, the riots could have been avoided,” said Singh. The BJP had described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul’s visit to Muzaffarnagar as “secular tourism”.

“The BJP will try to work at social engineering after a spate of riots in UP since the Samajwadi Party came to power one-and-a-half years ago,” said a party leader after the core-group meeting.

The other members of the group who attended the meeting were general secretaries Amit Shah and Varun Gandhi, vice-presidents Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Vinay Katiyar, UP state unit president Lakshmikant Bajpai, and Kalyan Singh.

West is one of the eight zones the BJP has divided UP into for putting in extra effort to achieve its target of winning 40 seats, which would be 30 more than their present strength in the state.