Demands for public addresses by Yogi Adityanath, who is among three leaders selected by the UP BJP to campaign for the September 13 bypolls, is pouring in at the party state headquarters.
Bypolls will be held at 10 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat (Mainpuri).
The candidates want to cash in on the Gorakhpur MP’s pro-Hindutva image and are hopeful his campaign — that starts Sunday from Noida and Bijnore in western UP — will unite Hindus of all castes in their favour when the contest looks set between BJP and SP with BSP deciding to stay away.
Union Minister Kalraj Mishra and state president Laxmikant Bajpai have already begun campaigning.
Adityanath told The Indian Express that he would talk about Hindutva and development-related issues during his campaign.
BJP candidate in Mainpuri Prem Singh Shakya is one among those who has appealed to the party to fix dates for Adityanath’s public meetings in the constituency.
“Yogi is a face of Hindutva and Hindus will unite to support BJP if he campaigns for me in Mainpuri,” Shakya said.
Shakya added three incidents of crime against Hindu women have occurred in Mainpuri in the past one month and Muslims were found to be involved in all three cases.
Shakya said there are nearly 70,000 Muslims in Mainpuri and Adityanath’s presence will benefit BJP that has never won Mainpuri seat.
Mainpuri is a stronghold of Samajwadi Party (SP) with the party never losing the seat since 1996 because of domination of Yadav voters.
Party MLA and Bijnor Assembly in-charge Suresh Rana said Adityanath’s address can polarise the voters and that could be helpful for the party in Bijnor.
According to locals party leaders, nearly 40 per cent voters in Bijnor are Muslims.
Adityanath is also in great demand among workers of Thakurdwara in Moradabad where communal violence occurred in Kaanth area in June.
Moradabad district president and Sambhal MP Satyapal Saini said local workers have suggested that the state leaders send Yogi Adityanath for canvassing in Thakurdawara on September 10 and 11 — the last two days of canvassing.
Gulab Chandra Shukla, the party president of Bahraich district, where the byelection is scheduled in Balha constituency, said, “We have sought Adityanathji’s meetings in the seat but the party state office has not confirmed his schedule so far.
There are around 30,000 Muslim voters in Balha seat.
According to party sources, similar demands for Adityanath’s meetings have been made from candidates and workers of other constituencies, including Sirathu, Lucknow East, Nighasan and Saharanpur Nagar, Hamipur and Charkhari.
When asked to comment on the demand of workers, Adityanath said he will campaign in constituencies where workers want him and where the party will send him. He said he will begin canvassing Sunday and will try and reach two Assembly seats every day.