Rajnath is Modi's choice to lead UP campaign

Rajnath is Modi's choice to lead UP campaign

Rajnath is Modi's choice to lead UP campaign

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be the choice of Narendra Modi to lead BJP’s campaign for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. 

As Modi addressed a rally in Saharanpur on Thursday to mark the NDA’s two years in power, also seen as the BJP’s first effort at electioneering in the politically important state, Singh was the only union minister by the side of the Prime Minister. 

Sources close to BJP president Amit Shah said though Singh –an MP from Lucknow and a former state chief minister- will not be projected for the top job, he is BJP’s only credible face that has traction among the voters. 

The BJP believes in Singh’s projection happening simultaneously as Modi tries to hold the sizable Rajput votes he garnered during the 2014 general elections. 

Endearing himself to the UP voters, Modi began his Saharanpur speech by saying “I am an UP wala”, pointing to him giving up Gujarat and adopting Varanasi as his constituency in 2014 elections. 

Shah told a press conference on Friday that he was undecided over projecting a face in UP, while also reiterating that 2017 would be a direct fight between the BJP and the ruling Samajwadi Party. He appeared to rule out speculations of a BSP rebound. 

Senior BJP leaders estimate that the situation would turn favourable to the party closer to the election since the Bahujan Samaj Party failed to lure back non-Jatav sub-casts that sided with Modi in the belief that the BJP’s development agenda would help their empowerment.