Lucknow, June 24 (IANS) From ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’, the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh now firmly believes in ‘Yogi hai to magic hai’.
After the 2022 assembly win, it is the Yogi factor that has been working overtime in by-elections and the recent municipal polls to ensure a sweeping win for the BJP.
BJP cadres are confident that Yogi Adityanath’s growing stature as a Hindu leader, his tough image as an administrator and his all-pervasive charisma will ensure a resounding victory for the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
A fragmented opposition will only make things easier for a saffron wave.
The BJP in Uttar Pradesh, so far, has only one strategy and that is to keep the cadres mobilized for elections and to revisit each booth with regular frequency.
“We have charismatic leaders like Modi and Yogi and all we need to do is prevent our foot soldiers from becoming complacent. Our ‘panna pramukhs’ and vistaraks’ are on the job and our leaders are working on the seats where the party is comparatively weak,” said a party functionary.
On the organizational front, there is a strong buzz that Sunil Bansal, who had worked magic in previous elections in UP, may be asked to take charge of the state ahead of the 2024 elections.
Bansal knows the dynamics of the state like the back of his hand and is familiar with the cadres. He may also play a key role in the selection of candidates for 2024 in UP.
The BJP is also preparing to change candidates in order to counter the anti-incumbency factor.
Party sources claim that some candidates may be dropped for having crossed the age bar of 70 plus while others may not get tickets for under-performing in their constituencies.
The BJP is focusing on the ‘labharthi’ (beneficiaries) vote bank of which the minorities and Dalits form a large chunk.
“These are the groups that have benefitted from the schemes of the Central and state governments and we are reaching out to them. It is not a question of caste or religion but a question of have-nots receiving benefits,” the party functionary said.
For the middle class and the upper castes, Yogi’s bulldozer campaign against the mafia will be a part of the party’s election strategy.
“Traders and builders are no longer complaining of extortion and land is not being usurped by the mafia. This will be used to advantage in the campaign,” the functionary added.
The BJP, despite the factors weighing in its favour, is not allowing complacency to creep in.
The party has been quietly working to win back its estranged ally — the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP).
When SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar’s son, Arun Rajbhar, got married earlier this month the top BJP leadership extended all possible courtesies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a letter to Rajbhar, conveying his wishes for the newly married couple.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath sent an emissary with a congratulatory letter.
State BJP president Bhupendra Chaudhary attended the wedding and several ministers were also seen at the event.
Since then, Rajbhar has not stopped singing paeans to the BJP even though he has not confirmed his comeback to the NDA fold.
Interestingly, the BJP in UP is not looking towards celebrity campaigners in 2024.
“I told you that ‘Yogi hai to magic hai’ and Modi is an added advantage. Need we say more?” the functionary remarked.