The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is in no mood to take lightly the upcoming Uttar Pradesh panchayat elections, for a simple reason that the state will be witnessing Assembly polls early next year. The BJP has gone all out to leave its impact on the panchayat elections with organising chaupals in 50,000 villages of the state and also reaching out at the booth level.
The BJP had won a whopping 312 seats in the 2017 UP Assembly election, followed by Samajwadi Party with 47 seats and Bahujan Samaj Party with 19 seats.
Meanwhile, the BJP has been keeping its workers busy with booth level seminars, kisan panchayats, district level meetings for panchayat polls and now chaupals with a focus to strengthen the organisation at the booth level. The BJP workers have been reaching out to people with the achievements of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath-led government in the State.
Speaking to News18 about the outreach programme of the BJP, UP BJP Deputy Chief and In charge of panchayat elections, Vijay Bahadur Pathak, said, “The number of villagers who participated in every village chaupal has been increasing the enthusiasm of BJP. The public is excited about the achievements of the central and state governments. They have faith in both the governments and hope that only qualified candidates can do welfare of the public.”
Now the next step of the BJP is to reach out the people at the booth level. Party leaders will carry the government’s achievement leaflets at the booth level on March 25 and March 26. The BJP has decided that it will declare 3,051 district panchayat ward candidates for the upcoming three-tier panchayat elections. With this, the party will contest elections on 826 block head posts. In the panchayat elections, by contacting every voter at the ward level personally, it will bring the achievements of the Modi-Yogi government from door to door.
The party’s youth, women, scheduled and backward class Morcha workers will organise programmes in each district panchayat ward. The party also aims to form a five member team including one member from each of the frontal originations and to reach out to people at 1.40 lakh booths, which will eventually strengthen the organisation ahead of 2022 Assembly polls as well.
The party will organise a big meeting at each district panchayat ward. There will be party-supported candidates for Gram Pradhan. The party has made a separate programme for farmers, youths and women. Till the booth level, the party will make its own team of fronts and work has already started on this. The aim of the BJP is to create a platform for Assembly elections through panchayat elections.
Speaking to News18, veteran journalist and political analyst Ratan Mani Lal says, “It has become important for the BJP now to win and keep winning in those states where they already have a government. There are a few states left where BJP has to make in-roads like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. They don’t take any election lightly in those states where they are already in power as they want to retain those states at any cost. The BJP first tries to establish itself for years but once they do it they want to retain that state, for example, Assam and Tripura. Similarly in Uttar Pradesh they want to repeat their government at any cost and that is why they are not taking the panchayat elections lightly. Earlier, the BJP wasn’t like that and they had even lost by-elections in their own government.”
So has BJP changed the rules of the game?
“The panchayat elections which were used to be elections of ‘former’ office bearers earlier, but now the rules of the game have changed by the BJP and now they brought in sitting MPs, MLAs, ministers and other senior office bearers. Even in the last Samajwadi Party regime, panchayat elections were more of a thing which were fought with the help of former MPs, MLAs, etc. who were strengthening their politics through panchayat elections. Now the BJP has pushed in current MPs, MLAs in the panchayat polls which will further strengthen connect with the people and will also rejuvenate the cadre,” add Ratan Mani Lal.
Poll Bugle during festive season!
“These all things show how important is the panchayat elections for the BJP as they want to repeat their government in 2022 in Uttar Pradesh at any cost. It is almost end of March and the BJP’s machinery is already oiled for the 2022 state Assembly polls. I think the political activities of the BJP and campaign for 2022 will start by October with a focus on Grand Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya. That will be the best time as their cadre will also be enthusiastic in the festive season,” said Ratan Mani Lal.