Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Yogi, not Modi, will lead the BJP charge in UP
Yogi, who launched the campaign from Shakumbhari Devi temple in Saharanpur on Sunday, will be addressing rallies in all the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies, said BJP spokesperson Chandramohan.Updated: Mar 29, 2019 09:39 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Even as the saffron brigade will be banking on Prime Minister’s magic to repeat the 2014-like performance in Uttar Pradesh, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, and not Narendra Modi, will spearhead the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha poll campaign in the state.
Yogi, who launched the campaign from Shakumbhari Devi temple in Saharanpur on Sunday, will be addressing rallies in all the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies, said BJP spokesperson Chandramohan.
He will also be addressing public meetings in support of party candidates across the country, including the North East. While on Monday, he addressed public meeting in Mathura in support of party candidate Hema Malini, on Tuesday he addressed public meeting in Gorakhpur and Varanasi.
“The party has planned more rallies of Yogi in constituencies where BJP is facing strong challenge from the BSP-SP-RLD alliance or the Congress,” said a BJP leader.
Besides winning maximum seats, the challenge of regaining the Gorakhpur seat that BJP lost in the by-poll also rests on Yogi’s shoulder.
In 2018 by-poll, the BSP-SP-NISHAD party alliance had shocked the BJP by winning the seat that Yogi has represented for five consecutive terms.
In fact, the BJP’s defeat in Gorakhpur by-poll has played an important role in crystalizing the alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Yogi, meanwhile, has also activated the Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) that was virtually disbanded after he became the chief minister in 2017. Set up by Yogi in 2002, the HYV has strong presence in East UP district.
Its members have now been directed to campaign for BJP candidates in all the constituencies.
“HYV is actively campaigning for BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha election,” confirmed Raghvendra Pratap Singh, HYV leader and sitting BJP MLA from Domariyaganj seat.
Yogi is also working to woo the backward community, particularly the Nishads whose vote is decisive in deciding the fate of the candidates on the nine seats located in Gorakhpur-Basti division where the BJP had grabbed all the seats in 2014.
On March 8, former SP MLA Rajmati Nishad and her son Amrendra Nishad joined the BJP. Through them, the BJP hopes to make inroads into the Nishad community vote.
Another backward community leader Sabha Kunwar Kushwaha, who contested assembly election on BSP ticket from Salempur seat, also joined the BJP.
BJP hopes to repeat the 2014 performance by riding on Yogi’s popularity in the region. Polling in the region will be held in the seventh phase on May 19. BJP is yet to finalize candidates on the nine seats.
First Published: Mar 29, 2019 09:35 IST