Aimed at strengthening party’s claim on 10 Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming bypolls, BJP national president Amit Shah has picked a team of MPs from each constituency and assigned poll-related responsibilities to them. Polling is scheduled for September 13.
The BJP, which is yet to announce its candidates, will do so by August 22, selecting from the list of applicants as collected by Shah from the respective constituency in-charge.
Shah had held a meeting with party MPs and the in-charge of poll-bound constituencies in Lucknow on Tuesday, where he formed the teams of MPs. These MPs will begin work after the state executive meeting in Mathura on August 23 and 24.
The state BJP’s main focus is on Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, with Shah appointing five MPs to supervise campaigning in the constituency which fell vacant after Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav decided to retain his membership from Azamgarh, another seat that he had contested and won from in the Lok Sabha elections.
The Samajwadi Party has fielded Mulayam’s grandnephew Tej Pratap Singh from Mainpuri for the bypolls. Of the five MPs assigned to look after Mainpuri, Rajveer Singh (Etah) and Mukesh Rajpoot (Farrukhabad) belong to the Lodhi community, among the dominants after Yadavs and Shakyas.
The remaining three – Ram Shankar Katheria (Agra), Rajesh Diwakar (Hathras) and Anju Bala (Mishrikh) – are Dalits.
“Lok Sabha in-charge will plan tours and meetings of these MPs depending upon their requirement as per caste equations,” said a senior BJP leader.
Besides these five MPs, Shah has also appointed for Mainpuri senior state leaders, including state vice-president Haridwar Dubey, and state secretaries Ram Pratap Singh and Daya Shankar Singh, who will assist the constituency in-charge, thus making the focus on Mainpuri – the Lok Sabha seat in UP which the BJP has never won – almost glaring.
For the Assembly seats, the BJP president has deployed at least three MPs each. Aonla MP Dharmendra Kashyap will oversee campaign preparations of three constituencies, namely Thakurdwara, Bijnor and Saharanpur.
Other Assembly seats going for polls include Noida, Charkhari, Hamirpur, Lucknow East, Nighasan, Balha, Sirathu and Rohaniya. Apna Dal MP Anupriya Patel, MLA from Rohaniya, moved to LS.