Uttar Pradesh elections 2017: Unsure about western UP, BJP wants more of Modi

Uttar Pradesh elections 2017: Citing internal surveys, BJP leaders now say Modi’s “image” and the “goodwill” he enjoys remains the party’s “biggest advantage”

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: February 17, 2017 11:04 am
modi, pm modi, narendra modi, modi up elections, uttar pradesh assembly election 2017, up elections, up election 2017, up polls 2017, modi up polls, modi uttar pradesh rally, modi katta raj comment, akhilesh yadav, india news, indian express news, latest news Uttar Pradesh elections 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election campaign rally at Barabanki district on Thursday. (Source: PTI Photo)

Voting in western Uttar Pradesh done, the initial assessment of the BJP is that the party might not have done as well as it had hoped, leaders admit. For the upcoming phases, the party’s primary target will be retaining the support it had gained in 2014 among non-Yadav OBCs and farmers of central and eastern UP. And its campaign pitch will be development under the central government, with possibly more rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP leaders had been hoping for consolidation of the Hindu vote, a trend widely attributed for the party’s sweep of western UP in the Lok Sabha elections. Now, leaders confide that this did not take place despite a “conducive atmosphere”. During the campaign, BJP leaders such as Yogi Adityanath had sought to make an issue out of an alleged exodus of Hindus out of the region.

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Citing internal surveys, BJP leaders now say Modi’s “image” and the “goodwill” he enjoys remains the party’s “biggest advantage”, whereas the local leadership and the organisation have failed to retain the trust they had won among people, including in traditional support bases. They say the party will have to organise more rallies for Modi. He has addressed rallies in Kannauj, Barabanki and Hardoi this week, and is set to address one each in Fatepur (Sunday) and Phulpur-Allahabad (Monday), followed by rallies in Gonda and Basti later this month.

The party leadership has asked the state unit and those working on the ground to push campaign material based on the NDA government’s initiatives for farmers. “Material that exposes poor law and order in UP will also be highlighted. Speeches of all star campaigners will emphasise jungle raj under SP rule,” says a BJP leader. Party leaders claim they continue to enjoy support among non-Yadav OBC communities including Saini, Kurmi, Maurya, Koeri and Lodh. The Yadavs comprise 8 per cent of the population while non-Yadav OBCs comprise roughly a third of the population. And more than a third of the BJP’s candidates are from non-Yadav OBC groups. The BJP estimates that the support of these communities can help, even if there is a consolidation of Muslim votes behind one party.

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In 2014, 26 of the BJP’s 28 OBC candidates had won. Keshav Prasad Maurya, the party’s state president, is an OBC leader. If a combine of non-Jatav Dalits (Pasi and Valmiki) and non-Yadav OBCs stand by the BJP, leaders say, “nothing can stop the BJP from forming the government”. What the BJP is hoping against is the possible consolidation of Muslims behind one side. The party wants to see the Muslim vote divided between the SP-Congress and the BSP. With Mayawati having fielded an unprecedented 97 Muslim candidates, BJP leaders are optimistic thar Muslims will not vote en masse for the SP-Congress.

A different calculation, however, has left them wary about the SP-Congress. The alliance has created an impression of bringing forward and backward castes together, the BJP leaders say, worrying if it could break into the BJP’s traditional support base. “Brahmins and Thakurs, who have been voting for the BJP, may look at this combination as a prospective winner. The BJP’s strategy should keep that in mind too,” a leader says. About Modi, party leaders say its internal surveys have shown the PM’s clean image and as an “action leader” has gone up since demonetisation. Some in the party were reportedly against the prime minister being overly exposed in UP when the poll is going to be so tough. Those working in the state, however, want the party to ensure more rallies by him. “In fact, he is the only popular leader for the BJP. The party machinery and the local leadership have not been able to pull it off in UP. When we don’t have a face in the state to project, it’s only Modi we can rely on,” says a party leader now working in UP.

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  1. A
    Akshay
    Feb 17, 2017 at 6:56 pm
    Recently BJP leader was arrested for being ISI agent.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Now you can see other ISI agents from RSS/BJP attacking congress with conspiracies lies and propaa to fool India. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Scroll down about 10 comments below to see reality of JUNGLE RAJ in RSS/BJP ruled states.
    Reply
    1. A
      Akshay
      Feb 17, 2017 at 5:03 am
      Its JUNGLE Raj in RSS/BJP ruled states and they talk about development? lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;1. Madhya Pradesh has HIGHEST rapeslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;2. Rajasthan has 2nd most number of rapeslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;3. Vyapam scam in Madhya pradeshlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;4. 60 people MURDERED to cover up the scamlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;5. Modi's KG basin scam for 10,000 crorelt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;6. Sahara Birla diaries NAMES modi receiving bribeslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;7. Riots in haryanalt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;8. Riots in Gujaratlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;9. Modi's consuency of varanasi is the hub of flesh trade in india
      Reply
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        Atish Bakshi
        Feb 17, 2017 at 2:20 am
        I fail to understant why these gujrati duo is blaming U p ? They are bringing disrepute to every person living in U p just as they did to biharis. Ye log u p ka apmaan kar rahe hai. Puri duniya ko ye log bata rahe hai ki u p ke log gunde hai. Itna bada U P ka apmaan kisi ne nahi kiya. Why this gujjus want to rule the Up?
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        1. M
          Manohar
          Feb 17, 2017 at 4:20 am
          It took India 70 years to get tired of Congress but RSS/BJP pulled it off in just 2.5 years.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;RSS/BJP talk about development but their reality is JUNGLE Raj in RSS/BJP ruled states.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;1. Madhya Pradesh has HIGHEST rapeslt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;2. Rajasthan has 2nd most number of rapeslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;3. Vyapam scam in Madhya pradeshlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;4. 60 people MURDERED to cover up the scamlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;5. Modi's KG basin scam for 10,000 crorelt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;6. Sahara Birla diaries NAMES modi receiving bribeslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;7. Riots in haryanalt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;8. Riots in Gujaratlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;9. Modi's consuency of varanasi is the hub of flesh trade in indialt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Scams, riots, violence and rapes in RSS/BJP ruled states and they talk of development???
          Reply
          1. M
            Mathura
            Feb 17, 2017 at 3:22 am
            Has any one seen Modi twice in the same dress. Every day dress, colour of kamal , mukota, jumla changes. frustration of loosing UP elections badly and prospect of BJP mukt UP is making him make more jumla speeches not worthy of coming out of mouth of a PM.
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            1. A
              Aditya
              Feb 17, 2017 at 5:19 am
              Really, then what are you doing here, go play the currency futures and mint money, instead of barking here..
              Reply
              1. J
                Jai hind
                Feb 17, 2017 at 10:45 am
                Not all are like u cow Fu cker
                Reply
                1. J
                  Jai hind
                  Feb 17, 2017 at 10:51 am
                  So ur sis HV no market value now ?Being generous u might have thoigh about givig chance to some one ? Sorry *p imping Is ur family business
                  Reply
                  1. J
                    Jai hind
                    Feb 17, 2017 at 10:41 am
                    U f* Off u SOB ...if u re not. MalYalo just shut ur. Sti nky mouth .. u have no right to say about Kerala ....if you are ...dig a on ground and burry ur head n it.. KERALA was NO 1 among fastest developing state last year and it's 2 Nd after Tamil nadu .. You beloved PM s state GUJRATH was left 6 th .. So dnt dare u to speak on Kerala
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      axkar
                      Feb 17, 2017 at 3:50 am
                      we are very fortunate to have such PM which not only uphold his promise to save the honest but the w country which are infuse with bhedia (fox) like people take shelter in different corrupt parties .... lt;br/gt;The true indian cizen shall gets unite and eradicate the dynasty based politics bhai, bhatija, bhabi, bua , chaha
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        PN badri
                        Feb 18, 2017 at 7:39 am
                        One out to five BJP contestants are from ex congress guys shows Modis pority nose diving and rude shock awaiting.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          s k
                          Feb 17, 2017 at 11:41 am
                          So far UP is concerned, BJP is an headless eny and will need transplantation after embly poll. UP MAY BE subjected to immunosupression.
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                          1. B
                            bitterhoney
                            Feb 17, 2017 at 2:41 am
                            Public has realized that Modi is mere a juggler, his promises are hoax. Modi balloon is deflated.
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              bha patel
                              Feb 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm
                              Modi has no other business so free for campaigns.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Ajay
                                Feb 17, 2017 at 7:37 am
                                UP is probably most important for electoral politics. More so for BJP whose more than 25% Lok Sabha seats came from UP. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;I hope people stick to core values - Honesty, Equality, Freedom to voice opinion.
                                Reply
                                1. G
                                  GIDDY
                                  Feb 17, 2017 at 3:42 am
                                  BJP was bitterly disappointed in phase 1 and 2. ..Jats behind RLS, Dalits behind BSP and maximum muslim consolidation behind SP-Cong are the factors...
                                  Reply
                                  1. J
                                    Jujhar G
                                    Feb 17, 2017 at 5:47 am
                                    As far as campaiging by a PM in embly elections is concerned, that's fine. How does Modi being PM really matters when coming to governance of a state !! lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;Are CMs puppets of PM !!
                                    Reply
                                    1. J
                                      Jujhar G
                                      Feb 17, 2017 at 10:28 am
                                      None of parties meet all the parameters. Cong is not honest, does not treat all equally. BJP does not treat all equally and Freedom of speech is not there. AAP does not provide any freedom of speech. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;Individual candidate should be criteria for elecorate. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;Other than honesty, equality, freedom also politics should debar dynastic politics.
                                      Reply
                                      1. H
                                        harun
                                        Feb 17, 2017 at 5:39 pm
                                        Ruling UP requires a steady head and BJP has none.
                                        Reply
                                        1. H
                                          HR
                                          Feb 17, 2017 at 8:11 pm
                                          Awwwww he jumped to podium again yessss, Yes, it happened! Bhartiya Danga Party PM and Gujrat Danga Overseer Modi came out of hiding from an undisclosed location and allowed in Lucknow today, you know what that means, another psychotic episode of podium jumpin, name callin and mud slingin, yes Ofcourse but with a small caveat though, with a gun on people's head, after taking all their money and disposing of his own money. That's how he roll, so gangsta. PM Modi then wants to jump to a podium and do name calling and mudslinging. Yes Ofcourse but with a small caveat though, he want to do this with his signature bizzare hand gestures. Biggest name calla and biggest mud slinga. He then wants to seize all black money, yes Ofcourse with a small caveat though, he wants to do this by short cut of demonetisation. Biggest hoax pulla. PM Modi then wants to pour cow mutra down people's throat and apply cow gober on people's face for best shade results. He then wants people to buy patanjali product only using digital transaction, yes Ofcourse with a small caveat though, with a gun on people's head.
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                                          1. B
                                            Burman
                                            Feb 17, 2017 at 11:03 am
                                            UP elections are always most important. BJP won in 2014 b'coz of max support from UP. These will be again decisive.
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