The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh has started making inroads into the 78 seats that it lost to Opposition parties in 2017, by welcoming legislators who had won on these seats into the party fold.
The party is determined to fulfil its ‘Mission 300 Plus’ and is leaving no stone unturned to achieve the target.
For instance, the five seats where the securities of BJP candidates were forfeited are — Gauriganj, Sahaswan, Sadabad, Soraon, and Rae Bareli Sadar.
The BJP has already welcomed the sitting Rae Bareli legislator Aditi Singh into its fold. Aditi Singh’s father, late Akhilesh Singh wielded considerable influence in the region and she rode to victory in 2017 on this strength. The BJP is confident that she will retain the seat and add it to the saffron kitty.
BSP’s Ramvir Upadhyay, who defeated the BJP in Sadabad seat in Hathras in 2017, has also joined the BJP and will be the party’s candidate in the upcoming elections.
Rakesh Pratap Singh of Samajwadi Party had won the Gauriganj seat in Amethi.
He recently resigned from the membership of the state Assembly, citing lack of development in the area.
There have been speculations that he is now preparing to join the BJP ‘for the sake of development in his constituency.’
Vandana Singh, BSP MLA from Sagdi seat in Azamgarh, has also joined the saffron party earlier this week.
Subhash Pasi, SP MLA from Saidpur in Ghazipur, has also joined the BJP and is preparing to contest under the saffron banner.
“We are focussing on seats where we had lost and if the sitting MLAs of these seats want to join our party, we have no objections. The screening committee will clear their candidature and they can join us,” said a senior party functionary.
The BJP is particularly eyeing the SP MLAs, some of whom may be denied tickets by their party as the seats will be given away to allies.
An SP MLA said: “I have come to know that my seat is being taken by RLD and so I cannot sit back for the next five years. I am planning to join the BJP if all modalities are worked out.”