With the tenures of municipal corporators coming to an end soon in Uttar Pradesh, BJP leaders at the Centre and state levels have started formulating strategies to win all major civic bodies in the state during the upcoming municipal elections.
According to sources close to India Today, municipal polls in Uttar Pradesh could be held in November. Keeping that in mind, the BJP high command has already started sending senior BJP leaders and ministers to major municipal corporations in different parts of the state, including Agra. UP Urban Development Minister Suresh Khanna was among the several BJP leaders to visit the city in less than a week.
The results of municipal elections in Uttar Pradesh could very well decide the outcome of the 2019 parliamentary elections.
A senior BJP leader from Agra told India Today on the condition of anonymity, “The BJP has fared rather poorly in all the by-elections held across the country recently.
So every election from now on is being treated as a do-or-die mission by party leaders and workers.” He said that the 2014 elections were largely won on the anti-incumbency factor and Modi’s charisma over the stale leadership of the Congress.
He said that in 2017, the party won the UP assembly elections mainly because of the infighting in the Samajwadi Party. The history of Uttar Pradesh shows that no party has remained in office for two consecutive terms over the past two decades.
He said that the Modi factor did work in the UP elections as well, but the selection of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of the state did not go down well with a large number of party leaders and workers, who thought that there were better leaders in the party capable of leading the state, who had won the assembly polls with a huge margin of votes.
All these factors are going to affect the municipal polls this time, as there is a greater degree of discontent against the BJP among the state’s population following the implementation of GST. The people are now openly blaming the government for not handling the transition to GST from VAT correctly, which caused chaos and a slump in the economy of the country.
Local issues like the paucity of clean drinking water in most of the state’s large and small cities, lack of sanitation, garbage disposal etc. are also some major aspects on which the BJP will be tested as the party holds the municipal boards in almost the entire state’s metropolitan cities.
Another senior leader said that the BJP government had returned in the state after 14 years and it would use this factor as a leverage to coax the voters into voting for BJP candidates in municipal elections, assuring better partnership between the city and the state on issues of municipal administration, now that both the state and the city will have BJP at their helm.
He indicated that the municipal elections were also on the discussion agenda between BJP chief Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in the Vrindavan (Mathura) RSS meet held some time ago.
Political analysts believe that the party could make some attractive announcements before the notification is issued for the municipal elections, taking advantage of the perception that the general voter has a short-term memory and the timing of making such announcements could change the outcome of the elections.
Bhartiya Muslim Vikas Parishad Chairman Sami Aghai said that there are indications that the BJP would make some very lucrative announcements on September 24, when the birth centenary celebrations of Jan Sangh founder Deen Dayal Upadhyay come to an end. This is the most probable reason why senior party leaders are being sent to all major cities of the state in order to collect information about the people’s mood in these cities and to document their problems and needs.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party has returned to its ‘lucky city’ Agra, to hold its national convention in the city around 5th October, with the most probable venue for the convention being the ‘lucky’ BSNL Stadium in the cantonment area of the city. Samajwadi Party City President Raisuddin said that Modi cheated the people of this country in 2014 and then again cheated the people of UP in 2017. Now people won’t be cheated again and they will shatter Modi’s pride by wiping out the BJP in the municipal elections and then in the 2019 parliamentary elections.
19 Feb 2019
20 Feb 2019