Eyeing a clean sweep in the upcoming local body elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started charting out a strategy similar to the one it adopted during the recent Delhi municipal corporation polls—barring all existing councillors and their relatives from running in the polls and replacing them with fresh new faces.

Notably, during the BJP’s national executive in Odisha recently, the party’s national president Amit Shah had asserted that its “golden era” would arrive when it rules across the country, from panchayats to Parliament. A senior UP BJP leader associated with preparations for the civic elections in the state said that the party has started its preparations for the civic polls.

The BJP, confident after its massive victory in the recently concluded Assembly elections in UP, where it won a two-thirds majority, is working on the strategy to claim a clean sweep in the upcoming UP local body elections.

 “The BJP will give priority to the youth and may adopt a strategy in UP similar to the one it used in the Delhi municipal body elections, to not only beat the anti-incumbency factor, but also improve its number of elected members in the upcoming UP local body polls,” Suresh Rana, a BJP legislator close to the poll preparation committee, formed to work on the upcoming local body elections, said.

“Voters are impressed with the development policies and functioning style of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The BJP is sure about a big victory in the local body polls in the same manner as in the Assembly elections in the state,” Rana told The Sunday Guardian.

Commenting on the BJP’s claim of sweeping the UP local body polls, Akhilesh Pratap Singh, a senior Congress leader, however, said: “Since the formation of the BJP government in UP, the voters are witnessing increased violence against Muslims and Dalits  and I am sure that the voters will reject them.”

According to the State Election Commission of UP (which conducts the urban local bodies’ polls), polls will be held to elect 980 corporators in the state spread across 12 municipal corporations. Manjit Yadav, an incumbent BJP corporator, said that the results of the local body elections would certainly act as a morale booster for the party.

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