The BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit is understood to have identified four “safe seats” for party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi and has also sounded out workers in case the Gujarat chief minister decides to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the state.
Though the BJP parliamentary Board, in consultations with the party’s ideological parent the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), will decide on the seats senior leaders will contest from, the UP unit has short-listed Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur and Gautam Buddha Nagar, of which Noida is also a part, for Modi, HT has learnt.
The state unit believes that if the Gujarat strongman contests from Uttar Pradesh, which sends the highest number of members — 80 — to the Lok Sabha, it would enthuse voters and add to party’s tally.
“We expect to do very well in these four seats; Lucknow and Varanasi already have BJP MPs,” a party leader told HT on condition of anonymity.
In 2009, the BJP narrowly lost the Gautam Buddha Nagar, which shares borders with Delhi, and Kanpur seats to the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress, respectively.
Senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon is the Lucknow MP and Murli Manohar Joshi represents Varanasi in the Lok Sabha. Tandon, it is learnt, is keen that Modi picks Lucknow, as former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee represented the prestigious constituency from 1989 to 2009.
The buzz, however, is Modi will fight election from two seats, including one from his home state of Gujarat, where he is serving third successive term as the CM.