From Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: BJP will soon organize its ‘chintan baithak’ for introspection to find out the factors responsible for debacle in the assembly polls of Uttar Pradesh
A senior BJP leader told this correspondent that all the top leaders would sit and discuss as to why saffron party could not achieve the target.
Since the UP elections had been taken as main challenge by BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, the party was expecting that with Sanjay Joshi as in charge of UP elections, the party would get at least 80 seats.
UP Assembly polls were considered to be semi final for 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the saffron party had mobilized all resources at its disposal to ensure the success of party candidates.
All the senior leaders including LK Advani, BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, former national president Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra and several Bollywood stars campaigned for BJP candidates yet they all failed to improve the BJP position in the state assembly as against the 2007 figure.
And now, BJP appears to be in serious trouble in UP after the poor performance in recently concluded UP assembly polls.
Not only majority of senior leaders of the party lost in the elections but there was decline in number of seats as well from 51 in 2007 to 47 in 2012.
Prominent leaders like Kesrinath Tripathi, Ramapati Ram, Om Prakash Singh, present state president Surya Pratap Shahi too lost.
Significantly BJP which claims to be party perusing Hindutva agenda also lost in three holy places Ayodhya, Kashi (Varanasi) andMathura.
The biggest jolt BJP got was the failure of Hindutva leader Sadhvi Uma Bharati who was specially brought from Madhya Pradesh and projected as one of four leaders who could become chief minister if BJP was voted to power.
BJP had great expectations from Uma Bharati who not only contested from Bundelkhand but also led campaign in entire state.
Although Uma Bharati won from Charkhari seat in Bundelkhand she could not enthuse the voters to vote for party candidates.
The biggest damage done to BJP was entry of tainted BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha who was allegedly involved in multi-crores national Rural Health Mission scam.
In order to win over backward Kushwaha castes BJP allowed the entry of Babu Singh Kushwaha to party but alienated urban voters. The day results were announced Babu Singh Kushwaha was arrested by CBI in connection with NRHM scam.
The traditional voters were earlier enthused with party when it was perceived to be fighting against corruption but once they saw that tainted persons from BSP were being accommodated by the party the disenchantment grew manifold.
So much so, BJP leadership also gave tickets to certain controversial persons who were dumped by BSP like Badshah Singh and Daddan Mishra.
Besides these, the overall ticket distribution by the BJP leadership was also faulty as tickets were given to senior leaders who distributed those among their own sons, daughters or close supporters.
There had been large scale protests in various districts with party workers manhandling the senior leaders publicly over ticket distribution. It was alleged that party tickets were sold to non-deserving persons and party hoppers at the cost of genuine party workers.
Large scale infighting in senior leaders also resulted in defeat of many candidates. Senior leaders like Surya Pratap Shahi in Patherdeva in Deoria and Lalji Tandon’s son Gopal Tandon inLucknowalso lost due to infighting in the party.
It would be worth mentioning here firebrand BJP leader Mahant Aditya Nath too was unhappy over ticket distribution and entry of Kushwaha and did not campaign for party which affected chances of party candidates in eastern UP.
The RSS too has condemned the BJP leadership for its poor performance in the recently concluded Assembly Elections. In its mouthpiece the Organiser, the Sangh said lack of leadership was the cause of the BJP’s defeat in Uttar Pradesh. The RSS said that BJP could have doubled its tally in UP if it would have projected a leader of good standing..
Asking the BJP to look into the election results, the RSS said, “Election results in UP have posed several questions and their solutions have to be found well in time otherwise 2014 general elections can become ‘agneepath’ (path of fire) for it and crossing it to reach the centre of power can prove to be difficult.”
The RSS alleged that the BJP is suffering from “Congress patch” in the state and is disconnected from the people.
“In UP, the BJP too suffers from a Congress patch – disconnect with its voters. So, it has lost half of its vote share in the last one decade,” it said.
“Core ideological issues, principled approach and credibility of leadership are needed to sway the voter. More than the party, the leader and more than the leader, his track record (performance) determines poll outcome these days,” the editorial in the Organiser said.
The RSS said with the kind of casteist and communal politics dominating UP, the BJP’s weakening there will strengthen the fundamentalist forces as has been proven by the elections. (IPA Service)