The BJP is ready with its list of candidates in almost half of Uttar Pradesh but it won’t make the announcement yet.
The party’s state unit has told the top brass to keep the list close to its chest till the grand, albeit delayed, Parivartan Yatra proposed to begin next month is complete.
A BJP general secretary told HT that president Amit Shah wanted names of candidates, already finalised, to be announced immediately to give them time to prepare.
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However, the state unit red-flagged the idea, saying it could be a dampener for the yatra — BJP’s campaign launch for the poll-bound state. According to them, those who are denied tickets may not lend support to the yatra. “Shah found merit in the argument,” the BJP leader said.
But Shah has his own worries. The launch of the yatra has missed several deadlines since August. It was supposed to be over by November. An intention to avoid a clash with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Kisan Yatra, the inauspicious fortnight in September and festivities during October delayed the launch.
The party is now looking at a November 5 launch for the four yatras and plans to end it with a rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lucknow by the end of December.
“The 100-day schedule has been cut short to about 55 days,” the BJP leader said.
The party has divided the state into six organisation zones and all four yatras were supposed to cover three zones each.
In such a case, each zone would have hosted two yatras. Now that the number of days has been nearly halved, the BJP will cover less ground. “We don’t see the possibility of candidate announcement before December,” said the BJP leader who is part of the candidate selection exercise.
The party expects the assembly election to take place in February and some leaders argue that there will be little time in hand for the candidates to fight the poll.