BJP chief Rajnath Singh held an Uttar Pradesh-specific strategy meeting in New Delhi, brainstorming on how the party could increase its presence in the state cutting across caste barriers.
The party discussed eight rallies for Narendra Modi in the coming months across Uttar Pradesh.
It also discussed candidatures without going into many specifics, though fielding key leaders like Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Vinay Katiyar was discussed. There were no deliberations on Modi’s possible candidature from UP, sources said.
The Muzaffarnagar riot, possibility of polarisation after a string of communal clashes and the need for involving more backward castes, were discussed, sources said.
Modi himself is an OBC, the party has emphasised in recent times.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh cautioned against getting carried away by media hype that Modi alone could bring the party back to power.
He said that while the Gujarat chief minister Modi could lead to a 10-% vote gain, proper candidate selection and forging a good social coalition were very crucial.
Hukum Singh spoke on the Muzaffarnagar riot, blaming the state administration and its minority appeasement policy for the flare-up. The meet observed a two-minute silence over the riot.
“The state government’s decision to allow a Muslim gathering in violation of section 144 CrPC on August 30 and senior officials’ accepting a memorandum sparked a reaction. And when Hindus going for a mahapanchayat on September 7 were attacked in Muslim-dominated villages, the government failed to provide security to them,” state BJP president Lakshmi Kant Bajpai told HT after the meet.