New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s preparation in Uttar Pradesh is going on, on a war footing with special emphasis being given to Eastern Uttar Pradesh known as Purvanchal in view of Samajwadi Party’s gameplan to ally with smaller political parties in the region. The BJP has deputed its top leaders in Eastern UP to make sure that the party crosses the 40% vote share in the region, which holds key for government formation in the state. The regular visits by the Prime Minister to the region show the kind of importance Purvanchal holds in the BJP’s scheme of things.
Sources have confirmed to The Sunday Guardian that along with the developmental works initiated between 2017 and 2022 in the region which has been backward in comparison to Western UP, the saffron party has formed committees to manage the social alliances and intensify its outreach to the respective social groups. The region had roughly 170-odd Assembly seats. Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP’s election in-charge for Uttar Pradesh is leading the charge and has been taking reports from each committee which is working in the Assembly constituencies and districts to make sure that the BJP gets maximum success in the region and is able to cater to different social groups. In the last Assembly elections, the BJP had won 150-odd seats in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the NDA won 27-28 seats out of 32-35 parliamentary seats in the region.
Talking to The Sunday Guardian a senior party leader said, “A four-member committee comprising former Union Minister of State (Finance) Shiv Pratap Shukla, Lok Sabha member from Gautam Buddha Nagar, Mahesh Sharma, senior party leader Abhijat Mishra and Ram Bhai Mokariya has been set up. These leaders are visiting the region with special focus on a particular social group. Likewise, the party is making other committees for the region keeping in mind the social arithmetic. In Purvanchal, the alliance of SP and Om Prakash Rajbhar is not numerically strong, but we cannot take any chances or leave any loopholes. It is well-known that the road to Lucknow goes through Purvanchal. The inauguration of the Purvanchal Expressway is another major milestone which will benefit our party. The development work that has happened in the last five years of the BJP government has not happened in the history of the region. Gorakhpur, a major city in Purvanchal has developed a lot as an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and an airport have come up there. All this will benefit our party.”
Talking to The Sunday Guardian, a Gorakhpur based political analyst, Ravi Prakash Choubey said, “BJP believes in micro-management. Even in the last elections, the micro-management paid off. The outreach to different caste and social groups is a good tactical move, as it will end the bitterness among the supporting castes who are competing with each other at the local level. All the party leaders are working overtime to ensure that no Assembly seat is left untouched. There are roughly 15-20 seats in Eastern Uttar Pradesh where the BJP lost the last time. These seats are on the top of the party’s radar.”
The BJP has divided the state into many regions—Kashi, Gorakhpur, Awadh, Kanpur, Bundelkhand, Braj, and western UP. Kashi, Gorakhpur and parts of Awadh are considered Purvanchal. Vivek Thakur is in charge of Gorakhpur region, Arjun Ram Meghwal is in charge of Braj, Captain Abhimanyu is in charge of Western UP, Shobha Karandlaje is looking after Awadh, while Annapurna Devi is handling Kanpur region for the party.