The BJP will focus on ‘Goonda Raj in Uttar Pradesh’ when its national executive meeting begins at Allahabad on Sunday, followed by a public rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the party launches into campaign mode ahead of the 2017 assembly elections.
Citing the law and order situation in the poll bound state, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, “Goonda Raj in the state is the main issue for us. There is a collapse on every front.” The matter will feature prominently at the national executive meeting and the political rally.
To better highlight the issue, the party intends to contrast what it calls governance deficit in Uttar Pradesh with the NDA’s achievements at the Centre.
“There will be an exhibition and a session to highlight the Centre’s achievements in the last two years,” a party general secretary said.
The BJP had in fact began harping on the NDA’s good governance when Modi opened the government’s second anniversary celebration in Saharanpur, an electorally significant district in the state. Uttar Pradesh is a significant state in itself as it contributes the largest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.
In focus at the BJP’s meeting and rally will be the NDA’s pro-poor and pro-farmer policies and initiatives such as the PM’s crop insurance scheme and the PM’s irrigation scheme – the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. In doing so, the BJP hopes to underline the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) government’s failures
While the BJP’s main opponent is Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), by targeting the SP, it hopes to turn the elections into a triangular contest.
“If that happens, we stand to gain from it like we did in the Lok Sabha elections,” sources added.
The party had bagged 71 of the state’s 80 seats in 2014, with its ally Apna Dal winning two more.
But, after the stellar mandate, the BJP took a severe beating in its first year in power when it attempted to pass an amended land acquisition act. The amendment had sought to reverse some of the pro-farmer clauses the existing law, passed by the Congress-led UPA, detailed.
The opposition took the opportunity to brand the Modi-government as anti-poor and anti-farmer.
Matters turned worse with the NDA repeatedly attempting to pass the bill in the Parliament despite opposition from different quarters, including some of its allies.
The BJP managed to salvage the situation the next year with Modi addressing the Kisaan Kalyan Melas in agrarian states, including Uttar Pradesh, and the government announcing a number of schemes for the agriculture sector. The election campaign will be a chance for BJP to publicise its pro-farmer measures, party sources said.