In 2009, the BJP had won just 10 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, with the SP, Congress and BSP ahead of it.
Rushing from one meeting to another, Shah sported a “stern, scrutinising look” for the most part and by the time he was through, all the party leaders and cadre in the state had been assigned a specific task — adopting one booth in the state besides spending 20 days in rural UP each month. Shah made it clear that “everyone” would have to participate and indicated that he was willing to lead from the front by adopting one booth and spending nearly three weeks every month in UP till the elections.
That he had done his homework was clear as he rattled off the figures — the number of booths in UP (127,700) — and then compared them with the official figure of the BJP’s active workers in UP (71,000) along with an estimated “3 million” ordinary workers.
In the presence of RSS representative Saudan Singh, who had been sent to Lucknow from Chhattisgarh, Shah quizzed UP office-bearers, especially those who had been here for long, on the party’s slide in the state.