NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appears to have cemented his place in the Bharatiya Janata Party as a star campaigner.
In the recently-concluded Gujarat elections, Adityanath addressed 35 rallies in constituencies where the BJP did not fancy its chances. But the UP CM, a post-election analysis conducted by the party has revealed, delivered 22 seats from here.
The party, on the basis of internal surveys, had divided all the constituencies in the State into three categories: A, considered safe seats; B, difficult seats; and C, very difficult.
While Adityanath was fielded in category B and C constituencies only, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah campaigned in A category seats.
“Adityanath held 35 rallies in Gujarat while Modi and Shah addressed 34 and 31 public meetings respectively,” a senior BJP functionary said. “In the end it emerged that Adityanath delivered 22 seats to the party’s final tally,” he added.
With his credentials established, the party now plans to unleash the UP CM in Karnataka, expected to go to the polls in March-April next year.
“Adityanath is the natural campaigner of Hindutva politics. As the Prime Minister has made development his campaign pitch, Adityanath has to fill the Hindutva space for the party. Karnataka is ripe for full utilisation of Adityanath,” the party leader said.
“His call to the people during the Hubli rally recently to remember that Karnataka was the birth place of Hanuman contrasted well with our campaign against the Tipu Sultan jayanti,” he added.
If Adityanath had not swung the “difficult” seats for the BJP, the party could have been in trouble as it managed to win only 99 out of 182 seats, 16 less than what the party had won in 2012.
The party was up against anti-incumbency, having been in power for 22 years. “The youth were the most difficult to convince as there were reports of unemployment. But it was also seen that the majority of the people who came to Adityanath’s rallies were the youth,” the BJP leader said.