Recipe for UP victory: Modi’s charisma, Yogi’s magic, labharthi loyalty

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Amita Verma

Lucknow, Aug 19 (IANS) The Ram temple, Modi’s charisma, Yogi’s magic, the organisational skills of its leaders, the loyalty of ‘labharthis’ (beneficiaries of government schemes), focus on OBCs and the bulldozer politics — this is the BJP’s recipe for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls with its social media team garnishing it on a regular basis.

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma and Yogi Adityanath’s popularity continue to be the  BJP’s mainstay in politics, the party is adding on factors to ensure that it maintains its successful run in Uttar Pradesh in the general elections.

The party knows that with 80 seats, Uttar Pradesh will play a crucial role in the formation of the next government.

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 alone will ensure a resounding victory for the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

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.

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 seems comparatively weak,” said a party functionary.

On the organisational front, there is a strong buzz that Sunil Bansal, who had worked magic in previous elections in UP, has been 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, meanwhile, 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.

For the BJP, the tone of the campaign will highlight the failures of the opposition (read Congress), nepotism, corruption and nationalism — rather, lack of it. A fragmented opposition will only make things easier for a saffron wave in 2024.

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 also 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 already brought back its estranged ally — the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) – and also leaders like Dara Singh Chauhan who had left the party last year.

SBSP leader Rajbhar is now singing paeans to the BJP which is also confident of making inroads in OBC votes, particularly in eastern UP.

The party’s social media team is being rebooted to challenge the opposition and counter the critics.

As for star campaigners, the BJP is not looking towards film stars and cricketers.

“Who needs celebrities when we have Modi and Yogi. Yeh dono hi kafi hain?” said the functionary.

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