Following internal bickering and difference of opinion among senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, the nomination process to select prospective candidates for the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha election has come to a grinding halt for the second time.
The new political situation and equations emerging after the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) parted ways and communal clashes in different parts of the State, particularly in Gorakhpur and neighbouring parts of eastern UP, has complicated the difficult ticket distribution job for the party bosses.
Yogi Adityanath, the BJP MP from Gorakhpur, has a strong following in eastern Uttar Pradesh and his nominees can be a boon for the party.
But, senior State leaders have so far not given any importance to the prospective candidates recommended by Yogi.
After the communal clashes and his arrest in Gorakhpur, Yogi is now in a position to reap rich harvest of votes.
Since he is calling the shots, the BJP, which is desperately looking for 'winnable' candidates, has no option but to give tickets to his close lieutenants in more than 150 assembly segments of eastern UP.
This is one of the reasons that the BJP has discontinued the ongoing selection process.
Moreover, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has appointed two of its senior leaders to regularly attend meetings and also send a clear message that the Sangh Parivar wants to keep a close watch on the selection of prospective nominees.
The saffron brigade had decided in December to reconsider and give a second thought to a list of prospective party candidates, which was prepared after a month-long series of meetings.
Though a fresh process started, that too has been discontinued and now a new strategy is being chalked out.
State BJP president Keshari Nath Tripathi said on Wednesday that the list selected in the last round of meetings was 'reconsidered and reviewed' under the changed political scenario.
He claimed that the leaders were, more or less, ready to accept the earlier selected candidates but 'some changes had to be made' due to valid political and other reasons.
He admitted that even the new amended list was not final and a last list would be prepared after another series of meetings expected to begin by February-end.
BJP Legislature Party leader Lalji Tandon admitted that the party would 'gain' due to communal disturbances and justified Yogi's tough stand on Hinduism.
Tandon claimed that Yogi was the only person in eastern UP who could counter the influence of growing Islamic terrorism.