New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah is set to begin a statewide tour of Uttar Pradesh from 22 January, for which special programmes are being planned across the state, sources told ThePrint.
The move comes days after three ministers and several MLAs quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state that will go to polls in seven phases, starting 10 February.
“Various programmes in different parts of the state will be organised for this purpose (HM’s visit),” a senior BJP leader said, expressing confidence that the party will cross the 300-mark in the 403-member legislative assembly, just like the 2017 polls.
The BJP has also decided against fielding Members of Parliament (MPs) in the state, seeking to avoid repeating the West Bengal call, sources said.
“During the West Bengal elections a decision was taken to field MPs. But, in UP, the party is in no mood to do that this time round,” said the senior leader quoted above.
Moreover, while party leaders are requesting to field their family members and relatives, the BJP is likely to follow the one ticket-one family diktat, said sources.
“A number of family members of many BJP MPs and MLAs in the five states are also asking for tickets. But the possibility of this is very slim. Though sitting MLAs will be fielded, only one ticket will be given from a family,” said a second leader who didn’t wish to be named.
On the desertions
Speaking about the 11 MLAs who have quit the party over the last week, BJP leaders said they are confident that the resignations will not have much impact on the results.
“People quit parties all the time before elections. This is nothing unusual. Those who have quit the party were troubled by the leadership that the BJP was nurturing. The issues which the rebel leaders are raising now are all false. No issue related to reservation is pending,” said the first party leader quoted above.
“We are confident that the voters in UP will not be affected by the departure of the MLAs,” the leader said.
According to party sources, Aparna Yadav, senior Samajwadi Party leader and daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav, is also likely to join the BJP in the coming few days.
“She is expected to join the party but tickets will not be given on her request. That is something that the party will decide,” said the first leader.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)