BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh have got a target – winning 3 assembly seats each. Each parliamentary constituency has an average 5 assembly segments. And if they fail to deliver, it might imperil their chances of getting the party ticket in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
BJP president Amit Shah assigned the task to every Lok Sabha MP during a meeting with them last month, a BJP source told HT.
India’s ruling party has 71 Lok Sabha MPs from Uttar Pradesh, country’s most populous state that it swept in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“There is logic behind the responsibility. If 71 MPs can win 3 assembly seats each, the BJP’s final tally would be 213. This is more than a clear majority,” a BJP leader explained. Uttar Pradesh assembly has 403 seats; making 202 the half-way mark.
“MPs have been asked to focus on all five-six assembly seats in their parliamentary constituency. But specific target is to win at least three of them,” the BJP leader elaborated.
The second logic behind setting specific target for each MP is to make them “accountable” for BJP’s performance in the do-or-die battle next year. There is a concern within the BJP about anti-incumbency of the BJP MPs, some of whom may not have lived up to the expectation of the electorate. Party’s performance in each MP’s constituency, sources say, will influence the decision whether or not they get a ticket to contest 2019 Lok Sabha election.
During they stint in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi successfully implemented such a strategy when a large number of ‘non performing and unpopular’ MLAs – say over 40 % - were dropped every election to minimize the impact of anti incumbency.
The ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh has repeatedly targeted the BJP for doing little despite winning 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014. Two seats went to BJP’s ally, the Apna Dal.
Specific assignments are being fixed for each BJP MP, who will have to travel length and breadth of the state over the next 5-6 months.
Dalit MPs – 17 of them – will travel to about 300 assembly constituencies that are either reserved for the SCs or have significant population of the community.
Similar programme will be drawn for other MPs. Such as, a Thakur MP will campaign in areas having strong population of the community.
Each MP has been asked to spend at least 10 days in a month outside his parliamentary constituency. A detailed programme is being chalked out.