Nistula Hebbar / Business Standard, New Delhi July 01, 2006
An internal survey of the BJP on its poll prospects in Uttar Pradesh, which goes to polls soon, does not give the party more than 30-35 seats in the 404-seat UP Assembly.
This gloomy prediction has set off party general secretary Sanjay Joshi to visit the state, dividing it into six zones for better poll preparation.
These six zones include Allahabad, Kanpur, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Agra and Jhansi. According to top sources in the party, the report sent by these zones has been singularly disappointing.
Joshi's visit failed to enthuse party workers since his game plan seems to be to wait for anti-incumbency to build without identifying issues on which to attack the Mulayam Singh government.
“Joshi wants to revive the Uttar Pradesh BJP through RSS muscle. To this effect 15 full-time RSS people including Om Mathur, Ram Pyare Pande and even state organisation secretary Nagendra have been deployed in these six zones,” said a senior office-bearer in the party.
“The problem is that Joshi thinks that by bridging the distance between the BJP and the RSS in the state, which had crept up in recent times, the election would be easy,” added the office-bearer.
“The ground reality is that nobody is willing to head the party in the state. The present party president Kesari Nath Tripathi is ineffectual, while Kalyan Singh and Kalraj Mishra are spent forces,” said the office-bearer.
The current strength of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh is around 82 seats and they expect to slide way down the scale this time round. At such a rate, BJP leaders feel they would compete with the Congress for the fourth position in the state.