Congress, BSP look to UP Municipal polls to regain lost group

The Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the two parties that faced humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, are now making a concerted effort to regain lost ground in the upcoming municipal polls likely to be held later this year in the state.

The UP civic polls will be held for 17 municipal corporations, around 200 nagar palika parishads and about 450 nagar panchayats across the state.

The BSP has asked its cadres to start preparing for municipal elections and shortlist prospective candidates.

The BSP hit rock bottom in the Assembly elections and could win only one seat in the house of 403 members.

Since then, Mayawati has been constantly trying to strengthen the party and has already held several rounds of discussions with party leaders.

The BSP chief has assigned responsibility to the party leaders so that it can regain lost ground in the civic polls and benefit from it in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

In the last civic elections, the BSP had won Meerut, Aligarh municipal corporations, which surprised most political adversaries. On the other hand, the Samajwadi Party could not win any corporation and did not have any mayor in any major city.

Meanwhile, the Congress, which still has to get a state president, has also started preparing a strategy for the civic elections.

Congress state spokesman Krishnakant Pandey said: “The party has identified seven zones in UP for preparations for the elections.”

The party has asked probable candidates to file an application form in which they will have to give details of 300 supporters, among others.

“For favourable results in municipal elections, the party has decided to expand its outreach programme with a special focus on social media. We are planning to launch digital membership drive and aim to reach 1.5 crore people through it,” he said.

The Congress will also appoint ward in-charges and a grievance redressal committee at district level, the spokesman said.

However, he did not reveal whether the party will fight alone in the municipal elections or will form an alliance with any party.

The Congress had contested on 399 seats in the recent UP Assembly elections, but managed to secure victory on only two seats. The party had won seven seats in 2017 Assembly elections.

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