Senior RSS leaders will hold a brain storming session in Varanasi between February 12 and 16 to discuss and approve BJP’s ‘Mission UP’ plan being prepared by state in-charge Amit Shah. This meeting will follow a similar meeting between February 7 and 11 focusing on Western UP in Agra.
These meetings are important as BJP’s UP chief Laxmikant Bajpai and organisational secretary Rakesh Jain will present a detailed report on the party’s future plans including proposed rallies, organisational activities, probable candidates, joining of leaders, mergers and others. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat would also attend the meeting.
A similar meeting of former ABVP-RSS’ student’s wing will be held in Lucknow on February 7 to engage former activists of the outfit in BJP’s poll preparedness exercise. A senior ABVP leader from Rajasthan, Sunil Bansal, has been recently attached with Shah to oversee front activities in UP.
Informed sources told HT that the BJP would speed up the process of candidate selection and other activities after this meeting gets over. “Apna Dal wants to align with the BJP but Shah is insisting on its merger with the BJP. We expect a decision soon,” a senior BJP leader said preferring anonymity.
Founded by late Kurmi leader Sonelal Patel, Apna Dal is now led by his daughter Anupriya Patel who is an MLA from Rohaniya, Varanasi. Shah’s plans include projection of non-Yadav belonging to the OBC category and influential upper caste leaders in different pockets of the state. This combination had helped the BJP win 57 out of the 85 UP Lok Sabha seats in 1998.
Shah plans to field former CM Kalyan Singh and BJP vice-president Uma Bharati for aggressive campaigning in Lodh-dominated areas of Bundelkhand and Western UP.
“Kalyan Singh’s son Rajveer may be fielded from a Western UP constituency. Uma is also a probable candidate from Jhansi, Amroha or Aligarh though she is interested in contesting from Haridwar,” sources claimed. Former Bareilly MP Santosh Gangwar will oversee the Ruhelkhand region, which has witnessed a series of communal riots after 2009.