BJP's gamble of anointing Narendra Modi as its election campaigning chief could resurrect the party's fortunes in Uttar Pradesh, according to an analyst.
The elevation of Modi followed the appointment of his close confidant Amit Shah as incharge of the state affairs giving a clear signal that the party plans to capitalise on his hardline image to regain lost ground and repeat the success of 1996 and 1998 to catapult it to power at the centre.
Ashutosh Misra of Political Science department of Lucknow University and a political analyst says the exact target of the "Modi missile" fired by the BJP is Uttar Pradesh. Stressing that the party's strategy is guided by the results of past six Lok Sabha elections, Misra said success in Uttar Pradesh is key for the saffron party's endeavour to attain power at the centre.
He stressed that in 1996 and 1998 Lok Sabha polls, it had won 52 and 57 seats respectively of the 85 seats whereas in 2004 when the party had coined the 'India Shining' slogan on the good governance of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and a secular image, it fared badly managing ten of 80 seats. The party, which has already announced to contest on the issue of inflation, corruption and development, and has also not desisted to sacrifice its 17 year old ally and opposition from within, feels that the party's resolve to return to its core issue would go down well in Uttar Pradesh and the message from here would be well received all over the country.
"Modi might be accused for Gujarat riots by some and praised by others for his development model but in both the cases, there is some active opinion on him and this is his USP," a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.
For UP, Modi becomes all the more necessary as the party requires a name here which could galvanise the voter and act as a catalyst, he said, adding that after the temple movement lost sheen, the party was totally lacking any emotive factor to stay afloat. The BJP leadership is treating UP as a make or break point for the party in the coming elections and therefore a more active Modi can be seen in the state in the days to come either directly or in the form of Amit Shah, he adds.