UP assembly bypolls: CM Yogi holds meeting as party mulls names, high voltage campaign
The party is also planning a ‘high voltage’ campaign in these by-poll seats with chief minister Yogi Adityanath expected to be the lead campaigner.Updated: Sep 21, 2020, 14:16 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership is busy considering names of possible candidates for the eight assembly seats in the state, bypolls to which are likely to be held soon.
The party is also planning a ‘high voltage’ campaign in these by-poll seats with chief minister Yogi Adityanath expected to be the lead campaigner along with other ministers and BJP functionaries, party leaders said.
On Sunday, CM Yogi held a meeting with state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh at the former’s residence after which ministers were tasked with responsibility for seats due for by-polls.
“As soon as the by-polls are announced, the chief minister would be canvassing for party in all 8 seats,” a BJP leader said, adding that several ministers would also campaign for the party.
“It would be a high voltage campaign,” the party leader said, adding that no decision had yet been taken on conceding ally Nishad Party’s demand to let it contest the Jaunpur seat as part of an alliance.
Moreover, in a departure from its usual policy of not contesting by-polls, the Bahujan Samaj Party has decided to field candidates this time.
The Congress too is holding meetings to finalise candidates as this would be the first electoral exercise in Uttar Pradesh after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had been given full-fledged responsibility of the state.
The main opposition Samajwadi Party, which held two of the eight by-poll seats – Malhani in Jaunpur and Suar in Rampur - is also desperate to make an impression in these mini-polls.
Of the two seats, the BJP is eyeing Suar seat which is considered a bastion of Samajwadi Party’s Rampur MP Azam Khan. The seat was won by Azam’s son Abdullah in 2017 UP polls but his subsequent disqualification paved the way for by-poll.
Azam, who has a string of cases filed against him since 2017, is currently in jail along with his lawmaker wife Tazeen Fatima and Abdullah Azam.
The BJP has decided to task state’s law minister Brajesh Pathak and party lawmaker Vijay Kashyap with the responsibility of Suar seat while it has given its backward classes welfare minister Anil Rajbhar the responsibility of Malhani seat in Jaunpur.
Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya has been made in-charge of Ghatampur assembly seat while the other deputy CM Dinesh Sharma has been asked to look after Firozabad’s Tundla seat.
Adityanath, after assessing the party strengths, said at the meeting with BJP leaders that the opposition was divided and desperate.
“The CM laid stress on continuing the public outreach initiatives that the BJP has rolled out to help the poor and the needy during the pandemic. He specifically said the environment was favourable for the BJP though he also warned against getting complacent,” a party leader said.
For the 6 bypoll-due seats held by the BJP, the party has named ministers Laxminarayan Chaudhary and Baldev Aulakh for Amroha; Ashok Kataria, Suresh Rana and Kapil Dev Agarwal for Bulandshahr. Surya Pratap Shahi and Satish Dwivedi would look after Deoria while Mahendra Singh and Suresh Pasi would look after Bangarmau seat.