With a view to putting an increased focus on the Lok Sabha constituencies it lost in the 2019 polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appointed new in-charges for all these seats and asked them to start a “movement” in their assigned areas in view of the 2024 general elections.
Senior party leaders on Wednesday held a meeting with the newly appointed in-charges in Lucknow and directed them to start meeting the grassroots-level workers and the general public.
Of the 16 parliamentary seats it lost in the 2019 elections, the saffron party won two — Rampur and Azamgarh — in
the recently held by-polls by defeating the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidates.
The other seats the party lost in 2019 are Ghazipur, Lalganj, Nagina, Amroha, Bijnor, Ambedkar Nagar, Saharanpur, Ghosi, Shrawasti, Jaunpur (all 10 won by Bahujan Samaj Party), Sambhal, Moradabad and Mainpuri (all three won by Samajwadi Party), and Rae Bareli (won by Congress).
The functionaries of the Rampur and Azamgarh seats were not called to Wednesday’s meeting that was chaired by party state general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal at the party’s state headquarters, it is learnt.
The party’s Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha conveners were also called but they remained tight-lipped about the agenda of the meeting. Sources said that the party leaders discussed success in the Lok Sabha by-polls in Azamgarh and Rampur seats that traditionally posed it a challenge due to the dominance of Muslim, Yadav and Dalit voters.
Sources said Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Jitenrda Singh and Annpurna Devi will tour these constituencies in the coming days and hold organisational meetings with the constituency in-charges, conveners and other district unit functionaries.
A constituency in-charge said, “We were told that if we can win Azamgarh and Rampur, we can win any seat, even if it is Rae Bareli. This has raised the workers’ morale across the state, including in the assembly segments that the BJP lost to the SP-led alliance. We will tour our constituencies regularly in the next one-and-a-half-years to speak to workers and people …”
development schemes that the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath regime in the state are running.”
Of these 14 seats, the BJP had won 12 in 2014 but only to lose them five years later when the SP and the BSP contested the elections in alliance. Since the two parties are no more in alliance, the party is trying its best to reach out to voters of the two.
Another party leader said, “In the 2022 Assembly polls, the BSP won just one seat. For example, the BSP in 2019 won from Amroha which has over 40% Muslim population. If the BJP can defeat SP in Rampur with 52% Muslims, it can do the same in Amroha too.”
In the wake of the by-poll results, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday directed all the departments to review the proposals related to development in Rampur and Azamgarh. The CM’s Office will review the ongoing and pending development projects.
Besides, the BJP has identified “weak” booths and assigned 100 booths to every Lok Sabha MP and Rajya Sabha MP in a bid to strengthen the party presence on the ground, it is learnt.