Lucknow: It could be desperation or strategy or a test case for coming Lok Sabha elections of 2019 but the fact remains that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is approaching the upcoming Urban Body elections in Uttar Pradesh in an inordinate ‘never before’ manner.
It is not only that for the first time, the senior BJP leadership including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is going to engage himself in the campaigning in such a massive way but launching the campaign from Ayodhya , the birthplace of Lord Ram, is another pointer how the saffron party is testing waters for the possible use of Ayodhya Card in the coming times.
CM Yogi Adityanath who is going to hold 40 public meetings during the 14-day period , the first time any CM is doing this in Local Body polls. This, of course, raises few questions about future plans of BJP vis-a-vis Ayodhya coupled with the fact that Yogi government’s diminishing reputation as pro-active government while added curiosity over Art of Living’s patriarch Sri Ravishankar meeting Yogi hours before Ayodhya campaign launch.
According to a state BJP spokesperson, the party is taking urban body elections with utmost seriousness and UP-unit Organisation Secretary Sunil Bansal is personally supervising the mission while a few Union ministers are also campaigning in the state to win people’s mandate.
In another first, the party has released its ‘Sankalp Patra’ (vision document) for the civil polls in the state. The move clearly indicates that BJP also believes that the elections will not only reflect the people’s response over Goods and Services Tax (GST), but will also be the result of the decisions taken by UP government, be it crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses, setting up anti-Romeo squads or cow protection units.
BJP is also feeling the pressure of the elections because the party received the unprecedented mandate in the Assembly elections winning 325 out of 403 assembly seats .
The elections have now become the prestige issue not only for the party but for CM Yogi Adityanath, as it is believed that the results may decide his future in the party as well as the state, hushed up voices suggest.
Apart from the massive victory in the 2016 UP Polls, the urban bodies have always been the strong hold of BJP, even at the times when they did not manage good mandate in the assembly or general elections. It has become a stark reality that Yogi has failed to enhance his image as a ‘mass leader’ , often pointed out by the opposition as well.
If BJP manages to win the urban body elections, it will come as a major jolt to the opposition parties which have become very vocal over the issues like demonetisation, GST, cow-protection units and anti-Romeo squad in the recent past.
Also , the political observers feel that the UP civil body election results, scheduled to be announced on December 1, will also impact the Gujarat polls which will begin on December 9.
The victory will ascertain that public is happy with UP and the Central governments’ decisions and the speculations of outrage among small business owners over GST will be laid to rest.
BJP has planned to contest the election on the branding formula of party national president Amit Shah. This apparently is the reason why the Sankalp Patra has been issued and the poll campaign was launched from Ayodhya by none other than the CM himself.