‘Vacated’ by inactive BSP, BJP eyes main Oppn space

Amit Shah directs workers to go all out against the SP govt

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Updated: June 23, 2014 8:33:20 am
BJP workers protest against the Akhilesh Yadav government, at Kesarbagh area in Lucknow on Sunday. BJP workers protest against the Akhilesh Yadav government, at Kesarbagh area in Lucknow on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Pramod Singh)

Riding on the stupendous success in the Lok Sabha election, the BJP is now focussing its energy on presenting itself as the ‘main opposition’ party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

With an eye on the Assembly elections, which is still three years away, BJP’s state in-charge Amit Shah has directed the state unit to project itself as the main opposition party by staging protests and raising voice aggressively against the Samajwadi Party (SP) government on public related issues both inside and outside the Assembly.

Bahujan Samai Party (BSP) is the main opposition party with 80 members but never stages dharnas or protest outside the Assembly.

“BSP is not contesting the bypolls to 12 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha constituency. We have to take advantage of their inactivity and project BJP as a party, which is more concerned about the public issues,” a party leader said.

The BJP currently has 36 MLAs. Its numbers came down from 47 seats it had won in 2012 Assembly elections after 11 of its legislators were elected to Lok Sabha.

State general secretary (Organisation) Sunil Bansal, who took charge on June 17, had called a meeting the next day to direct all the 36 MLAs and 6 MLCs to be present in the respective Houses on the first day of the budget session, which began on June 19. Eight MLAs, who were absent in the meeting, were asked explanation for their absence.

To make their presence felt on the Opposition benches, the BJP members have been provided saffron scarf to wear around their neck.

By virtue of having seats close to the chairs of Speaker and Chairman in the respective Houses, the BSP members always reached the well first during agitations in the Assembly. But, during the ongoing session, BJP members were asked to troop to the well as soon as the recitation of the national song was over. The saffron party members followed the instructions and led the protest on law and order issues nearly downing the BSP by their vocal power in both the Houses.

“We have been directed to raise slogans in the loudest voice to get the attention of both the media and the state government. We did that on the first two days of the session,” said a BJP MLA, requesting not to be named.

BJP leader in Legislative Council Hridya Narain Dixit, during the Question House on second day of the session, repeatedly kept raising a demand for discussion on law and order issue with arguments supported by “Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the UP Legislative Council.”

Besides, the sources said, all the wings of the party state unit have been asked to stage dharnas and agitation outside the Assembly over various issues. BJP’s youth wing members torched an effigy of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav outside Vidhan Bhawan building Saturday. The party also announced to stage dharna in all the districts headquarters on Sunday. Party’s youth wing has announced for similar protest across the state on June 30.

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