BJP aims to sweep eastern Uttar Pradesh like 2017

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Realising that sweeping eastern Uttar Pradesh is important to form the next government in the state, the BJP is now putting all its efforts to repeat its 2017 performance in the region.
In the 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 115 of the 164 seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh. In an effort to repeat or further improve its previous tally, the BJP has combined development with its core agenda of Hindutva and nationalism.
Polling in these seats is being held in the last three phases of Assembly polls. This time, the BJP is facing challenges on the caste equation after OBC leaders like Swami Prasad Maurya and others left the party and joined rival camps.
Another major challenge for the BJP is that its former alliance party, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) of O.P. Rajbhar, has joined hands with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) this time.
A senior BJP functionary from Uttar Pradesh said that some leaders or regional parties with influence over their respective caste have left them, but that would not have any impact on BJP’s chances in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
“We are not only going to repeat our previous performance, but we are all set to better it. Our top leadership is on the ground seeking people’s blessing to serve them for the next five years in order to continue the pace of development the region and the state witnessed in the last five years,” he said.
Now the top BJP leadership is aggressively raising issues related to Hindutva and nationalism, while mentioning the development and welfare initiatives of Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath in the region.
However, the saffron camp blames SP chief Akhilesh Yadav for ‘polarising’ the polls by invoking Jinnah (Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founder) to appease a particular community.
“It was Akhilesh Yadav who invoked Jinnah in a public meeting. Akhilesh was not participating in an academic conference, but he was addressing an election rally. He raised Jinnah’s name with a clear intention to polarise the voters on religious lines,” Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Harish Chandra Srivastava said.

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