BJP to 're-draw' strategy post Priyanka entry in UP

BJP to 're-draw' strategy post Priyanka entry in UP

Priyanka Gandhi. File photo

The entry of Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi has forced the SP-BSP alliance and the BJP to "re-draw" their respective electoral strategies in Uttar Pradesh.

The leaders of these parties admitted that Priyanka's entry could change the electoral equations in the state, that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.

According to sources, senior leaders of the SP, the BSP and the BJP went into a huddle soon after the announcement of Priyanka's appointment as the AICC general secretary and in-charge of the eastern Uttar Pradesh.

As political analysts opined that Priyanka's arrival in Uttar Pradesh's electoral scene could affect the vote banks of both the SP-BSP alliance and the saffron party, the leaders of these parties said that they would be "re-drawing" their electoral strategies.

"There is a possibility of at least a section of the Muslim vote bank shifting towards the Congress after Priyanka's entry... a division in the Muslim votes will affect our electoral prospects," said a senior SP leader while speaking to DH here on Thursday.

The alliance's worry seems to stem from the fact that Muslim votes play a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the polls on more than a dozen Lok Sabha seats in the eastern region. 

Muslims are in sizable numbers in Azamgarh, Mau, Baharaich, Barabanki, Gonda, Dumariaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Siddharth Nagar and some other seats. A shift of the Muslim votes could severally hamper the prospects of the SP-BSP alliance in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Sources said that SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati could meet in the next few days to discuss their strategy. 

BJP leaders also sounded worried, though they maintained for the record that Priyanka would have no effect on the party's electoral prospects.

"We will need to re-draw our strategy... Priyanka's entry may have some impact on the upper caste votes," admitted a senior state BJP leader here.

Sources in the Congress said that Priyanka would focus on the seats, where the grand old party had registered a victory in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. These seats include Kushinagar, Baharaich, Barabanki, Unnao, Dhaurahara, Bareilly and Moradabad.

The Congress' political rivals also apprehend that some of their leaders may now join the Congress after being denied Lok Sabha nominations.

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