Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP is mulling organisational changes aimed at bettering the party’s performance at the hustings.
BJP president Amit Shah’s two-day visit to the state is an indicator towards the same. Shah will be in Mirzapur on 4 July where he will meet the regional organisations of the district. He will then proceed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constitueny of Varanasi where he will address the social media volunteers meet. Around 2000 people are expected to participate in it.
Shah is expected to be in Lucknow the same evening. He will be in Agra on 5 July where he will hold an interactive session with party functionaries for getting feedback on the performance of the BJP’s elected representatives.
The BJP and its allies (Apna Dal) had won 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats from UP in the 2014 parliamentary elections. Modi’s magic and disgruntlement with the then UPA regime had seen caste configurations dissolving with the electorate voting for the Lotus.
The scenario is different in 2019. Talk of a ‘Grand Alliance’ of the Opposition parties to stop the BJP juggernaut has gained momentum. At the state level the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have made known their keenness for an alliance.
The two parties have already experimented successfully in the bypolls to the prestigious Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana Lok Sabha seats. The BJP was trounced in all three. Party sources said Shah’s visit has to be seen against this background too.
The BJP is focusing on wooing the Dalits and the Backward Castes to ensure a better performance for itself. Talks have gained momentum that people from these two sections of society may be appointed to important posts.
The name of national general secretary Bhupinder Yadav is already doing the rounds as UP in-charge in the run-up to the polls. What has given credence to the rumour is that the present in-charge and party vice president Om Prakash Mathur has not visited this politically crucial state in the past eight months.
It is being observed whether Mathur will be present with Shah at the meet, or whether the vice president’s services will be utilised elsewhere considering that assembly elections are due in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh at the end of this year.
PM Modi’s visit to Kabir Chaura and his public meeting in Maghar (Sant Kabir Nagar district ) recently was seen as an attempt to woo the ‘mahaDalits’ and most Backward Castes (MBCs) as the BJP gradually cast itself in election mode.