City Cong chief, others join BJP ahead of civic polls in UP - Hindustan Times
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City Cong chief, others join BJP ahead of civic polls in UP

Apr 27, 2023 08:32 PM IST

The BJP, which has traditionally done well in the urban local body polls, is looking to continue its domination across the state. This includes Lucknow, where along with mayoral polls, the party is also looking to dominate the 110 wards with its own representatives

LUCKNOW Looking to dominate the two-phased urban local body (ULB) polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed Lucknow city Congress chief Dilpreet Singh, Samajwadi Party’s (SP’s) district panchayat member Palak Rawat and former SP corporator Tara Chandra Rawat into the party fold.

Deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak’s presence at the UP BJP office for the joining of these leaders indicated the importance the ruling party attributed to these elections. (Pic for representation)
Deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak’s presence at the UP BJP office for the joining of these leaders indicated the importance the ruling party attributed to these elections. (Pic for representation)

Deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak’s presence at the UP BJP office for the joining of these leaders indicated the importance the ruling party attributed to these elections.

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The BJP, which has traditionally done well in the urban local body polls, is looking to continue its domination across the state. This includes Lucknow, where along with mayoral polls the party is also looking to dominate the 110 wards with its own representatives – the reason why it is engineering defections in the opposition camp to better its chances.

“Of course, we will now work for the BJP and ensure that it wins these polls by a big margin,” said Dilpreet Singh who had contested against Pathak on a Congress ticket from Lucknow Cantt assembly seat.

Pathak, on his part, said the joining indicated growing support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s leadership, the same line that finance minister Suresh Khanna had taken at the time when Samajwadi Party’s mayoral candidate from Shahjahanpur Archana Verma switched sides at the last moment to contest the mayoral polls on a BJP ticket.

After this, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had targeted the BJP stating that such defections merely indicated that the BJP was getting desperate and was unable to find candidates on its own.

Such last-minute defections have become the norm of late as many parties are using a similar model to strengthen themselves.

For instance, Salman Shahid, BSP’s mayoral pick in Aligarh had quit the Samajwadi Party recently and was declared the party candidate the day he joined the BSP. Two Muslim candidates declared by the BSP earlier – Saeed Ahmad from Prayagraj and Rukhsana Begum from Firozabad - too have a SP connection.

At many places there are disgruntled workers across parties who, after not getting party tickets for these polls, have either decided to contest as independents or have decided to back candidates of other parties.

Take the case of Unnao where a BJP worker Ramji Gupta has decided to contest the polls as an independent. He even threatened to commit suicide, if pressured to withdraw. In Basti too, several rebels are contesting across parties.

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