Believing that a perfect opposition unity exists only theoretically in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is focusing its strategy on getting over 50 per cent votes in the 2022 Assembly polls to blunt any consolidation against them.
To further consolidate its Hindu votes, the saffron party has also planned to highlight the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and redevelopment of the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi in the run up to the Assembly polls.
To achieve the target of over 50 per cent vote share in its favour, the saffron party is working on two fronts, firstly strengthening organisation at the booth level and secondly banking on the development and welfare measures that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh in the last five years under the BJP government at the Centre and state.
In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP got nearly 50 per cent votes and 64 seats out of 80. In the last Assembly polls in 2017, the BJP and its alliance partner won 324 seats out of 403 in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP got around 40 per cent of total votes polled in the last Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
“We are working on getting over 50 per cent of the vote this time also and it will be the key strategy in Uttar Pradesh. In the last 2019 Lok Sabha polls, despite facing the challenge from the biggest alliance of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), we won 64 seats with our alliance partner Apna Dal, and also got 50 per cent vote share. Perfect opposition unity only exists theoretically in Uttar Pradesh and on paper,” BJP Uttar Pradesh vice president Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.
To achieve the target to get over 50 per cent vote share, the BJP has launched “booth jeeto, chunav jeeto (wins booths, win elections”. The BJP has constituted committees at over 1.53 lakh polling booths in Uttar Pradesh. The ruling party also completed the appointment of ‘panna pramukh’ at each page of the electoral roll. These workers at the booth level have started reaching out to the voters with works of Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath government.
In view of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the BJP is also enrolling over 1.5 crore new members in the state. Currently the BJP has over 2.5 crore members in Uttar Pradesh.
“As per plan, the BJP workers are making a minimum 100 new members at over 1.53 lakh polling booths, where the party has a committee, in Uttar Pradesh. During the membership drive the party is targeting to enroll a minimum 1.5 crore members in the state,” a party leader said.
On its core ideological agenda of Hindutva, the BJP has made a month-long celebration from December 13 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the massive redevelopment and beautification of the Kashi Vishwanath temple to the nation.
On the social engineering front, to woo all the communities ahead of next year’s Assembly polls, the party has started holding a caste specific outreach programme for Other Backward Class (OBC) and Schedule Caste (SC). As per the strategy, programmes will focus on all the castes and sub castes of OBCs and SC.
Special focus will be on OBCs caste as they constitute over 50 per cent of total electorate of state. The non- Yadav OBCs have played an important role in the rise of the BJP in recent times. “OBCs are electorally important in Uttar Pradesh. This time we are also trying to win support of all OBC communities especially of non – Yadav,” a party insider said.
Among SC communities, the BJP trying to make in roads of the BSP vote bank by projecting former Uttarakhand Governor and party national vice president Baby Rani Maurya as its Dalit face in the state against former Chief Minister Mayawati.
Both Maurya and Mayawati belong to the dominant Jatav community, which accounts for more than half of the Dalit community. Jatav consitutes 11 per cent of total 21 per cent of the Dalit population in Uttar Pradesh. Jatavs are still with Mayawati and any dent in Jatav vote bank will weaken Mayawati and strengthen the BJP.