BJP to whip up by-poll campaign after Dussehra
The Bharatiya Janata Party would roll out a high voltage campaign to win 11 bypoll seats, banking on strategies of key organisational hands and the star appeal of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who is expected to resume his campaign post Dussehra.
The UP by-polls are due on October 21, just ahead of Diwali, and the party plans to unleash a fiery campaign to wrest seats like Rampur where BJP hasn’t won for decades. The by-poll results would be known on October 24.
State general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal held an organisational meeting in Rampur on Saturday from where the Samajwadi Party has named its MP Azam Khan’s wife Tazeen Fatima as its candidate to set up a direct contest with the BJP. Azam’s wife is a Rajya Sabha MP at present.
Apart from Adityanath, others named as star campaigners by the party include party’s officiating president JP Nadda, considered an expert in ensuring organisational preparedness, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh along with deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma. By polls are due in Lucknow (Cantonment), Govindnagar, Balha, Gangoh, Rampur, Manikpur, Pratapgarh, Zaidpur, Jalalpur, Iglas, and Ghosi. In 10 of the 11 seats, bypolls were required due to sitting lawmakers getting elected to the Lok Sabha, but in Ghosi the by-poll was required as BJP named its lawmaker Phagu Chauhan governor of Bihar.
Before his elevation as governor, Phagu Chauhan, who belongs to Lonia community, an OBC sub-caste which is strategically spread across Bihar, was BJP’s locally influential backward face in and around Ghosi.
However, Keshav Prasad Maurya, the party’s OBC face in the state, is the one who along with UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh Patel, another OBC leader projected by the party, are expected to play a key part in the campaign.
“Maurya has also been named party co in-charge for Maharashtra assembly polls. In case his availability is an issue, the party has decided to get Swami Prasad Maurya, who was BSP’s most visible OBC face before he switched to BJP, to campaign,” a BJP leader said. While Maurya is party plan to woo OBCs, the BJP hopes to cater to the upper castes through its other deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma.