Signs of truce and unity have emerged from the BJP in Uttar Pradesh with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath firmly in place to be the face of the party in the 2022 elections and the party deciding to re-focus its energy on its ‘Booth Jeeta to Sab Jeeta’ (Win a booth, win all) strategy.
BJP leaders held marathon meetings in Lucknow on Tuesday where faith was expressed by state ministers in Adityanath’s capability to lead the party into the elections. BJP’s National General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santhosh, who has emerged as the chief trouble-shooter for the party here, on Wednesday congratulated Adityanath on Twitter for a record number of 8.1 lakh vaccinations in UP on Tuesday.
Two senior ministers who were present in the marathon meeting on Tuesday at BJP office in Lucknow told News18 that the message is to go to people at the block level as BJP did in 2017 and spread the word on the good work done both by the Centre and the state government in the last five years in UP. ““Last time in 2017, we had only the achievements of the Centre to be told to people but this time we have a host of state government achievements too,” a minister told News18.
Santhosh and BJP’s UP-incharge Radha Mohan Singh will visit a booth-level president of the party in Lucknow on Wednesday to reinforce the message that BJP must follow its winning strategy of 2017 and all ministers and functionaries need to focus on booths.
It was also emphasised at the meeting that people should be told how coronavirus had been controlled in a big and populous state like Uttar Pradesh within a month and vaccination was being done at a fast pace and every adult would be vaccinated by end of 2021, a minister said.
A message has been given to go all out to publicise achievements among the public like free ration schemes, record procurement of crops, payment of sugarcane dues and four lakh government jobs given in the state since 2017. “The campaign launched by the opposition must be countered too,” the senior minister told News18.
Leaders also patiently listened to ministers complaining that the bureaucracy was not attentive to the complaints of the BJP cadres.
Truce and Unity
Adityanath and senior RSS leaders earlier on Tuesday visited the house of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to wish him for his son’s marriage but the significance of the reach-out was not missed on many as Maurya had recently said that the party leadership would decide who will be the CM face in the polls. His statement was backed by another BJP leader and Minister Swami Prasad Maurya.
The senior party leadership is, however, giving out a clear message that while Adityanath will be the CM face, the two Deputy CMs in Keshav Maurya and Dinesh Sharma will get due prominence during the campaign as BJP projects a “social coalition” of itself to the voters, especially the OBCs, upper-castes and Brahmins.
The letter written by recently appointed BJP state vice-president AK Sharma to the party chief in UP is also being seen as a sign of truce as Sharma expressed confidence in the party winning the 2022 elections in the leadership of Yogi Adityanath. Sharma was also invited to the meetings of the BJP state leadership in Lucknow on Tuesday, along with newly-inducted Jitin Prasada and both of them are expected to be used in a big way in the campaign to reach out to the upper-castes. The party is also planning a big outreach to Dalits, one state minister said.
The Personal Touch
A second minister present at the meeting in Lucknow said a lot of stress has also been put on BJP leaders camping on the ground and meeting as many people as possible, including those who have lost their kin during the second wave of coronavirus and soothe any anger against the party and state government on this count. Party leaders, including the state chief Swatantra Dev Singh, have already been visiting the homes of BJP workers who lost family members to Covid and promising them all help. This exercise will be expanded further.
The CM had also recently announced that state ministers, MLAs, MPs and BJP state functionaries would adopt a Community Health Centre (CHC) and Public Health Centre (PHC) each to ensure proper treatment of people and Covid-19 vaccination. The CM has himself adopted multiple such CHC and PHCs and all present at the meeting in Lucknow were implored to do the same without any delay to send a message among people that they would good medical treatment there.