BJP pulls out ‘unity card’ strategy before 2022 UP Assembly polls

There are political compulsions for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to put up a united front before next year’s Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s residence for lunch is reported to be a part of this strategy.

On the alleged mismanagement during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the opposition as well as BJP MLAs and MPs have written a letter questioning the functioning of the UP government. The state government has also been accused of appeasing a particular community.

To clear the negative atmosphere around the saffron party, there is a compulsion before it to stay united. With six months left before the state Assembly elections, efforts are being made to send across this message by holding meetings with the former party presidents so that the organisation does not look frail. This is the reason for the involvement of leaders like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) General Secretary, Dattatreya Hosabale, and RSS Joint General Secretary, Krishna Gopal, that it will send a message of unity among all BJP workers and the public.

A senior party leader preferring anonymity said a section of people have been making statements for the last few days that the UP Assembly elections will be fought under the leadership of CM Yogi Adityanath. Recently, Keshav Prasad Maurya and Uttar Pradesh Labour Minister, Swami Prasad Maurya, made statements that under whose leadership the UP Assembly polls will be fought would be decided by the BJP Parliamentary Board.

Just before the UP elections such comments are bound to create a political controversy.

Senior BJP leader said it is important to spread the message of unity within the party among BJP workers and the public through family meetings and lunches/dinners. The BJP’s National General Secretary’s visit to Lucknow twice is a significant step in this direction. The RSS leaders are keeping a close watch on every single development in the state to rectify matters before the Assembly elections.

Senior political analyst Rajeev Srivastava says, “The BJP is concerned with its ownself as the opposition has failed to play its role in the last four years. The challenge to the BJP has come from within, whether there is protest by the BJP MLAs in the state assembly or writing letters to the state government questioning its functioning. For instance there were reports of a rift between CM Yogi and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. With six months left for the elections, the top RSS officials have understood the importance of unity within the saffron party. Due to this the process of meeting the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister in the presence of major RSS officials and retweeting their tweets is a step in that direction. This is a political exercise to suggest there is unity in the BJP top brass and they are unitedly fighting the elections.”

Another political analyst P.N. Dwivedi says, “It is very important to give the message of staying united for the BJP to achieve “UP Mission 2022″. The party is working in this direction. Earlier, the reconciliation of the Chief Minister and the top RSS leaders at Keshav Prasad Maurya’s residence is an indication of this united front before UP Assembly polls. After this meeting, former UP BJP state Presidents Vinay Katiyar and Laxmikant Bajpai’s presence in a BJP meet is meant to give a message of solidarity within the saffron party.”

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