The high-powered trio of Amit Shah, JP Nadda and Rajnath Singh will be guiding troops at the grassroot level in six key regions in the upcoming battle for Uttar Pradesh. Mr Shah will be operating across western UP and Brij, and Rajnath Singh in eastern Uttar Pradesh where the party wants to expand its influence. The areas he will look after will include Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi and Awadh. JP Nadda will direct troops in Kanpur and Gorakhpur — the turf of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and therefore, the party’s backyard.
After a strategy session attended by state and central government ministers earlier today — where the election schedule for Prime Minister Narendra Modi were also discussed — sources said the leaders will be in direct contact with all booth leaders and advise them on getting voters to booths.
Sources said Rajnath Singh will attend the booth president conference in Sitapur and Jaunpur on November 25. BJP chief JP Nadda will visit Uttar Pradesh on November 22 and 23. He will attend the booth president conference in Gorakhpur on November 22 and in Kanpur on November 23.
Dates for Amit Shah’s conferences with booth presidents in Brij and western UP are being finalised.
Uttar Pradesh — where Mr Shah has set his team a steep target of 300 seats — will be the most crucial for the BJP in the next round of assembly elections due early next year.
In the last round, the BJP’s big target was Bengal, where the party was hoping to gain 200 seats. In the event, the party hugely lost face as Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress stole the show. Barring Assam, its performance was less than stellar in the other states it contested.
For Uttar Pradesh — said to be the “Gateway to Delhi” — Amit Shah is taking no chances.
Buoyant from the party’s unprecedented 70 parliamentary seats from the state in the 2014 general elections, Amit Shah had crafted a master strategy of combining the non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits as a new voter base against the Yadav-Dalit supporters of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.
This time, the challenge from the Samajwadi Party chief appears to be growing.
Akhilesh Yadav’s rallies have been receiving huge crowds. While there is no guarantee that the crowds will translate into votes, Mr Shah is leaving no stone unturned.
Sources said the party is planning huge “Vijay Sankalp Rath Yatras” simultaneously from four corners of the state for direct contact with voters.
Starting December, they will crisscross all regions and pass through every assembly constituency of western Uttar Pradesh, Purvanchal, Braj, Awadh and Bundelkhand.