BJP’s election offices opened in UP, but suspense over party’s list for Lok Sabha polls - Hindustan Times
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BJP’s election offices opened in UP, but suspense over party’s list for Lok Sabha polls

Jan 31, 2024 09:52 PM IST

There are speculations that the party might replace sitting MPs whose “performance and people-connect” haven’t been found up to mark. But none in the party is willing to make an official comment on the subject

LUCKNOW Lok Sabha election offices of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been opened in most of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies of UP by Wednesday, and though majority of such office inaugurations featured sitting LS MPs, there was no telling how many of them would be repeated for the 2024 battle, due by April-May.

As many as 62 BJP MPs had won from UP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls while another two won on ally Apna Dal (S) ticket. (Pic for representation)
As many as 62 BJP MPs had won from UP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls while another two won on ally Apna Dal (S) ticket. (Pic for representation)

As many as 62 BJP MPs had won from UP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls while another two won on ally Apna Dal (S) ticket.

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After opening election offices, the party plans to open similar offices at the assembly segment level by February.

Party leaders admitted that the suspense over who would get to contest from those constituencies will linger till the official release of the party list closer to the polls. There are speculations that the party might replace such sitting MPs whose “performance and people-connect” haven’t t been found up to mark, but none in the party was willing to make an official comment on the subject.

BJP’s regional chief Prakash Pal said election offices in all 10 Lok Sabha seats in Kanpur-Bundelkhand region have been opened by Wednesday.

“The coordination committee of all LS seats in the region too has been set up,” he said while coining a slogan that summed up the prevailing sentiment in the BJP.

“Do baatein na jaana bhool, Modi-Yogi aur Kamal ka phool (don’t forget two things, Modi-Yogi and lotus flower),” Pal said in his coinage that he reiterated at the inauguration of the election office of the party in Kanpur in the presence of sitting MP Satyadeo Pachauri.

Pachauri, along with veterans like Santosh Gangwar, an eight-term LS MP from Bareilly, are among MPs who are 75 years of age - which since 2014 Lok Sabha polls is said to be the ‘unsaid norm’ in the party as the age bracket to phase out leaders with younger lot.

But there is no confirmation if the ‘unsaid norm’ would be implemented uniformly this time.

“Nothing can be said. The party leadership would take a call on all such issues based on various things,” said a party leader.

“In BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kamal Ka Phool are the only certainty because these two things alone would ensure win. The entire party would work for those who get the ticket,” this leader said.

Barring once, Gangwar, has represented the Bareilly Lok Sabha seat in west UP since 1989. He was also present when the Lok Sabha election office of the party in Nehru Park colony of Bareilly was inaugurated on Tuesday. Suresh Rana, former UP minister and cluster in-charge of the Lok Sabha seats in the region that includes Bareilly too was present.

Both Gangwar and Rana said the party under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath was set to sweep UP, but no party leader was willing to take a guess on who would get the party ticket in Bareilly, where Gangwar, a former Union minister, has won eight terms.

On Monday, BJP MP from Unnao Sakshi Maharaj inaugurated the election office in his constituency in the presence of cluster in-charge of the region Suresh Khanna, but there too, party leaders said: “Only Modi-Yogi aur Kamal ka phool’ are the only certainty.”

BJP MLC Mukesh Sharma from Lucknow said by February 29, party election offices are to be opened in all 403 assembly segments as well. Sharma, who has been made convener of the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, was present at a Tuesday meeting held to finalise election management strategies in Lucknow, the Lok Sabha constituency of defence minister Rajnath Singh.

In this meeting, senior leaders, including deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak and finance minister Suresh Khanna, also said that UP would aid BJP’s push for a “400 paar (400 plus) seats in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.”

“Back in 2019, despite a SP-BSP pact, BJP and allies won 64 Lok Sabha seats in UP and 51% of the popular vote. This time, we are working to win all 80 Lok Sabha seats,” the BJP leaders said.

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