The Uttar Pradesh chief minister is planning a whirlwind tour of all 75 districts of the state ahead of the 2022 assembly election
With just three months to go for the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath is pulling all stops to keep the BJP placed firmly in the state. Word is, the chief minister will launch his election campaign from the start of the Navratri season in the second week of October. The BJP’s Vidhan Sabha election in-charge and Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan had made it clear in his first press conference in Lucknow on September 24 that the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh would be fought under the leadership of Adityanath. After making him the face of the election, the BJP has made a strong plan to convert his popularity into vote bank. During a meeting of the BJP’s core committee on September 23, held at Adityanath’s residence, a two-month long campaigning tour of the state’s 75 districts was planned. As per the schedule, Adityanath will visit one to two districts daily for four to five days in a week, lay foundation stones and inaugurate some government projects in the districts and, at the same time, also attend programmes organised by the BJP’s Yuva Morcha, Mahila Morcha, Kisan Morcha etc.
A senior BJP vice-president says, “Along with government events, organisational programmes will also be done in the form of meetings, rallies or conferences. The government and the organisation together have made a plan that by November, through organisational or government programmes, CM Yogi Adityanath should conduct his tour of the entire state.” During this time, Yogi will not only take feedback about the government and the party, but also try to solve local problems after discussing with party workers and representatives.
According to a senior BJP leader, Yogi Adityanath will continue to attack the opposition using words ranging from “Abbajan” to “Talibani Vichadhara”, to give an edge to the BJP’s Hindutva agenda in election meetings.
Simultaneously, the CM will also be reminding the people of the BJP government’s achievements, like the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, and organising events like Deepotsav, Kumbh Mela of Prayagraj, Holi of Barsana, Dev Deepawali of Kashi, grand celebration of Navratri on Shaktipeeths, and will try to strengthen its hold on the traditional Hindu vote bank. BJP national vice-president and state in-charge Radha Mohan Singh says, “CM Yogi Adityanath is the most popular leader among the people of the state. After the rule of four and a half years, there is unwavering faith and reverence in the mind of the people towards him. That is why before the assembly elections, the organisation has planned various programmes and migration of Yogi in every district.” The opposition is calling Yogi’s visits an election stunt and believes these visits will not benefit the BJP. Senior Samajwadi Party leader Abhishek Yadav says, “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government has not done any work in the past four and a half years. The public is very angry with this. The public’s displeasure will increase due to Yogi’s visit and only the Samajwadi Party will benefit from it.”
The BJP has paid special attention to the seats it lost in the last assembly election. Adityanath and the BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh have prepared a special strategy for the seats lost in 2017 and the subsequent by elections. In the 2017 assembly election, BJP won 312 seats and lost 72 seats by contesting on 384 seats. The BJP lost four seats in the by-elections. Om Prakash Rajbhar’s party Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) had contested on eight seats in the 2017 assembly elections in alliance with the BJP and won four out of eight seats. After the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP completely broke ties with the SBSP. After breaking the alliance with SBSP, the party also included the eight seats given to them in 2017 in the number of seats it lost. In this way, there are 84 seats in the state where there are no BJP MLAs or their allies. The party started preparations from a year ago to win these seats in 2022. In these seats, veteran leaders of the party, Rajya Sabha members, corporations, board presidents and legislative council members have been made in-charge, who have given their feedback to the party according to the party’s formula. According to this feedback, the state government and the BJP have started work on these seats in the first phase.