As Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are set to grip the state in less than a year or so, BJP is up with their agendas to woo voters. After NDA’s grand show in 2014 and Assam 2016, BJP is setting their expectations high for upcoming 2017 UP elections. The party has begun its preparations to woo electorate. BJP chief Amit Shah is continuously in talks with party’s top brasses in the state to chalk out a strategy ahead of the elections.
If reports are to be believed, Shah roped in Keshav Prasad Maurava as UP party chief to fix the cast quotient in the state. With Mauray’s induction for the top job in state unit, BJP aimed at targeting backward vote bank in Uttar Pradesh. In a bid to equalize the cast equation, the party decided to nominate Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand and Shiv Pratap Shukla, a known Brahmin face of the party in UP.
For last ten years, BJP had a history of appointing BJPs district chiefs in Uttar Pradesh that came from forward caste (Brahmin or Thakur). Now, the party has probably changed its stand as out of the latest list of 94 district presidents appointed, 44 belong to backward or extremely backward castes, 29 are Brahmins, 10 Thakurs, nine Vaishyas and four Dalits, as per the website.
Not only this, but BJP is also eying at BSP’s core vote bank this upcoming contest. In order to do that, BJP has targeted extremely backward castes. Amit Shah’s recent Rajbhar rally in Varanasi had hints of it. There have been reportedly suggested giving ten seats to Ashok Rajbhar’s Bhartiya Samaj Party or persuade him to merge with the BJP.
BJP has already made a coalition with with the Apna Dal to tame a sizeable backward caste support. To intensify the process further, Rajanth Singh targeted Buddhist voters by flagging off Brahm Chetna Yatra from Varanasi on April 24. During the rally, Singh promised to build a Buddha statue, taller than the ones in Bamiyan in Afghanistan, if BJP came to power in UP.
PM Modi bugled the UP campaign by addressing a mega rally on 26th May in Saharanpur. In a row, on May 31, Shah had a meal with a Dalit family in Jogiyapur village in Sevapuri Assembly segment in Varanasi. Akhilesh Yadav lashed out Amit shah on the issue and termed it mere tokenism and an attempt to polarize dalit votes. BJP hasn’t yet declared its CM candidate in the state, and this is what a serious cause of concern for the party in the state.
A report published in India Today quoted that Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Mahesh Sharma are the top contenders for the CM post but as per party insiders Shah and PM Modi are not considering these two names as of now. On May 25, the party president Shah had said that the party had not yet decided about the chief ministerial candidate in UP. According to Amit Shah, Samajwadi Party is the main challenge in Uttar Pradesh.
After massive debacle in Bihar polls, the BJP had projected a chief ministerial candidate in Assam and won the polls with huge margin.