Lucknow: BJP president J.P. Nadda, who arrived in Lucknow Saturday on a two-day visit to the state, asked party leaders to reach out to villages and dalit colonies on a regular basis ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. He has also advised them to visit local temples during their district stay.
The main focus of the BJP chief’s meetings with UP government ministers, former MPs and the party’s core committee members in the state on Saturday was the party’s preparations for the upcoming state elections.
Nadda also met newly-elected district panchayat and kshetra panchayat chairpersons in the state and tasked them with launching a mega awareness campaign about the initiatives and achievements of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath government in the state. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was also present at this meeting.
There had been speculations about a decision being taken on a possible cabinet reshuffle in the state during Nadda’s visit, but according to party sources, no such discussion has happened yet. A source in BJP also said that even discussions on selection of candidates for four vacant MLC seats are yet to happen.
If a discussion on either is to take place during Nadda’s current visit, chances are that it may yet happen during the BJP chief’s separate meeting with the CM Sunday. Sources hinted, however, that the cabinet reshuffle may be put off owing to impending elections in the state.
Following his meeting with the CM, Nadda is scheduled to leave for Agra where he will address a meeting of the party’s office bearers and the MLAs, MLCs of the “Braj region”. According to a party functionary, in Agra, Nadda will also address a meeting of doctors, who have been at the forefront of the war against Covid.
Going local and connecting with seers
Another UP BJP functionary told ThePrint that Nadda, along with General Secretary (organisation) B.L. Santhosh and UP BJP In-charge Radha Mohan Singh, chalked out plans for the party’s state unit organisation for nest year’s assembly elections Saturday. It was decided that the party will continue to focus on its old formula of ‘Booth Vijay Abhiyan’, where focus is on booth-management, he said.
A third functionary said, “Nadda ji mainly focussed on “reach out” plans. He asked party leaders to visit “villages and dalit bastis” regularly and to focus on party leaders and workers who are unhappy – especially those who are either not happy with the state government’s handling of Covid situation in the state and because they are not getting to play an active role in state or district levels.
According to this party functionary, “The party president also asked the state high-command to “distribute responsibilities to each and every worker”, so that they are not left idle and also to start building the momentum for the coming elections.
It was also suggested during the meeting that party leaders and ministers should visit famous temples in the locality during their “pravas” (stay) in the districts. “It will increase our connect with seers and (the people in the) localities and also give a message to our supporters,” Nadda is believed to have said.
Farmer’s anger and seat allocation
According to a party source quoted above, who attended the meeting with Nadda, a senior leader raised concerns over growing anger among the farmers in West UP against the Centre’s new farm laws.
He also requested Nadda and other senior functionaries to find a solution to this issue soon, and cautioned that otherwise the problem will impact the party’s chances of winning votes in “Jatland”. Responding to his worry, Nadda said, ‘We are trying to find its solution, things will happen soon”.
Another senior UP BJP leader told ThePrint, ”During the meeting, B. L. Santosh said that the names of Vidhansabha Prabharis (Assembly seat in-charge) for all 403 seats will be decided soon. Nadda added that those leaders who will be appointed as prabharis won’t get tickets. If anyone has an objection to it they can talk to the general secretary (organisation) of the state.”
The leaded added: “It was also decided that in September UP BJP will organise a ‘Panna Pramukh Sammelan’ (gathering of micro-level booth workers) where Nadda will address them. The event is expected to take place in the last week of the month.”
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)