After reducing the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party to virtual non-players in state as well as national politics, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh is now planning to strike at the base vote of these two parties.
At a meeting to discuss the party’s membership drive that begins on July 6 and ends on August 10, party cadres have been asked to focus on enrolling Jatav and Yadav voters as members.
BJP Vice President J.P.S. Rathore, who is in-charge of the party’s membership drive in the state, said that the BJP would now focus on bringing Jatavs and Yadavs into its fold. The party had lost seats in western UP mainly because the Jatavs did not support it even though other Dalit sub-castes did.
Party leaders have been asked to stop the movement of Yadav votes towards Shivpal Singh Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL).
The BJP feels that Yadavs and Jatavs did not accept the SP-BSP alliance with ‘open hearts’ and the BJP can use this disappointment to make inroads in the two vote banks.
“If the alliance had percolated down to the grassroots level, the results of Uttar Pradesh would have been different,” said a party functionary.
The BJP is apparently worried because in the recent Lok Sabha elections, the party won 62 Lok Sabha seats but could establish a lead in other 284 Assembly seats whereas in 2017, the party had won 312 Assembly seats. The party is keen to make up the loss of 28 Assembly seats at the earliest.
The party strategists feel that if the BJP succeeds in making inroads into the Jatav and Yadav vote banks, it will have no problems in winning all 12 Assembly seats in the upcoming by-elections.
Meanwhile, the BJP has decided to make four-member core team for every Assembly segment where by-elections are to be held. The MPs, ministers and legislators in these segments will be given the responsibility of ensuring the party’s victory.