The party, which has already begun the ground work for selection of candidates, is likely to give priority to those who lost by narrow margins or came second in the last assembly election in UP.

RSS

After Bihar, the BJP has started gearing up for its next high stake battle– the Uttar Pradesh assembly election. Though there are still 15 months to go, the party has lined out the broad contours of its strategy in the state, which like Bihar, it had swept in last year’s Lok Sabha elections. With the mistakes made in the recent Bihar assembly election still fresh in the mind, one of the first lessons for the BJP is to factor in sentiments of local unit in UP particularly in ticket distribution, according to party sources. In the aftermath of the Bihar debacle, several state leaders had alleged that the BJP leadership had ignored them and projected “outsiders” in the run-up to the election.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The party, which has already begun the ground work for selection of candidates, is likely to give priority to those who lost by narrow margins or came second in the last assembly election in UP. There are around 15%-20% of such candidates, sources said. Another experience from Bihar was the caste dynamics dominating all other narrative in the state where the BJP and its allies faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad Yadav combine, unlike in the Lok Sabha election when the NDA had won 31 of the 40 seats. Sources said the party will lay emphasis on the caste arithmetic in UP, focusing on the upper castes, OBCs and scheduled castes, while deciding on candidates and working out its strategy in the run-up to the 2017 election. In UP, where party President Amit Shah was in-charge during the Lok Sabha election, the BJP, which had projected Narendra Modi as Prime Ministerial candidate, had won 73 of the 80 seats. During the recent Bihar election, the BJP had pinned its hopes on the “uneroded” Modi wave, which had swept both UP and Bihar for it in 2014. In the Lok Sabha election, the BJP had even encroached BSP leader Mayawati’s dalit vote bank as Modi managed to woo the electorate cutting across caste lines. While in the general election, the BSP failed to win a single seat, the BJP is viewing her as its most formidable foe in 2017.With Mayawati, who is hoping to consolidate the dalit and Muslim vote, having a sway over Western UP, the BJP is planning to focus on development-craving Poorvanchal or Eastern UP. While the Dalit population in UP is around 20 per cent, the Muslims account for 19.3 per cent in the state. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor, is also likely to be play a bigger role in the election to the state, which was the hotbed of hindutva politics and had pushed the party to the national centre-stage in the 1990s. The party strategy is to refrain from chanting about Ram Temple in Ayodhya, which is now in court and on the back burner of the party’s agenda, sources said. However, several of its Hindutva hardliners like Yogi Adityanath, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Sakshi Maharaj are from UP. The BJP is toying with the idea of replacing its state unit chief Laxmikant Bajpayi, a Brahmin. Among the names doing the rounds are union minister of state for HRD Ram Shanker Katheriya, a pracharak and a Dalit leader, Swatantra Dev Singh, an OBC from Bundelkhand and Ashok Kataria, the state vice-president. Bihar debacle : With the mistakes made in the recent Bihar assembly election still fresh in the mind, one of the first lessons for the BJP is to factor in sentiments of local unit in UP particularly in ticket distribution, according to party sources. In the aftermath of the Bihar debacle, several state leaders had alleged that the BJP leadership had ignored them and projected “outsiders” in the run-up to the election.
RSS role: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor, is also likely to be play a bigger role in the election to the state, which was the hotbed of hindutva politics and had pushed the party to the national centre-stage in the 1990s. The party strategy is to refrain from chanting about Ram Temple in Ayodhya, which is now in court and on the back burner of the party’s agenda, sources said. However, several of its Hindutva hardliners like Yogi Adityanath, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Sakshi Maharaj are from UP.

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Local leaders’ sentiments, RSS, caste to play crucial role in BJP’s Mission UP