Reforms in law and order and agriculture will help BJP swing Gorakhpur, Phulpur’s bypolls in March: Sunil Bansal
The BJP’s performance in Gorakhpur, which is the pocket borough of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, and Phulpur, which was earlier represented by deputy chief minister Kesahav Prasad Maurya, is expected to serve as a bellwether for the 2019 general elections.india Updated: Feb 11, 2018 22:05 IST
Visible results from reforms in sectors such as agriculture and law and order will pave the way for the ruling BJP’s win in the upcoming March 11 by-poll for the two high-stakes seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, said the party’s state general secretary Sunil Bansal on Sunday.
The BJP’s performance in Gorakhpur, which is the pocket borough of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Phulpur, which was earlier represented by deputy chief minister Kesahav Prasad Maurya, is expected to serve as a bellwether for the 2019 general elections.
Bansal is confident that the work done by the Yogi Adityanath government during its 11-month tenure in Uttar Pradesh, coupled with Modi-government’s pro-people policies, will steer the party towards a thumping majority in the 2019 general elections.
In 2014, Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats, elected 71 BJP MPs (plus two of its ally Apna Dal) to the Lower House with a 42% vote share.
A strengthened party cadre from the grassroots to the top rung, with representation from across caste groups, is another factor that the BJP leader said will allow the party to combat the Opposition, even if several parties were to form a coalition against it.
“There was a time when people said the BJP lacked leaders from OBC and Dalit sections; now that vacuum has been filled too,” he said.
Listing the achievements of the Yogi government — saving Rs 312 crore after pulling the plug on bogus ration cards or providing 16-18 hours of electricity in villages — Bansal said the party was on track to fulfil its poll promises.
“Nearly 86 lakh farmers benefitted from the Rs 36,000-crore loan waiver, regularisation of payments to sugarcane famers; doing away with middlemen by directly transferring the money to farmers and helping them double their incomes are significant reforms that can be seen on the ground,” he said.
A former RSS pracharak, Bansal was picked by BJP president Amit Shah to steer the party’s campaign ahead of the UP assembly election.
The Opposition’s allegations that the government has not been able to create jobs and has fostered polarisation, he said, would not stick.
“Take the case of UP. For the past 15 years, the state was marred by corruption and vote- bank politics. It will take time to undo the damage, but we are gearing full steam for the upcoming investors’ summit (February 21-22) that will allow industries to take off. This state has land, resources and manpower, yet there are no industries, no jobs,” Bansal said.
The government, he said, was focusing on improving the law and order situation, apart from adding infrastructure to revive small scale industries that sustain large numbers and also set up bigger industrial projects that will offer employment.
He cited the example of the ‘one district, one product’ programme, where districts that were famous for their products, such as Khurja for pottery, Bhadohi for carpets and Firozabad for glassware will receive be given incentives to revive production.
On the political front, while the Opposition is trying to cobble together a coalition to combat the BJP, Bansal says there was no challenge to the PM Narendra Modi juggernaut. “The craze for Modi is unabated; the young connect with him. There might have been concerns over demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax, but the long-term benefits will be there for all to see,” he said.