Now, MP BJP Top Brass Hit Campaign Trail in Uttar Pradesh
Following the orders of the BJP central leadership, the party’s top brass in Madhya Pradesh as well as scores of party workers are now camping in neighbouring UP to drum up support for the saffron party candidates seeking mandate from the politically crucial state.
And high-profile BJP contenders in the fray from UP, include its PM candidate Narendra Modi and former MP Chief Minister Uma Bharti. While Modi is contesting from Varanasi, Bharti has been fielded from Jhansi.
As soon as the last phase of polling in MP concluded on April 24, state BJP secretary Arvind Menon, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his ministerial colleagues were asked to contribute their might to the party juggernaut in the neighbouring state.
According to party officials here, apart from Chouhan, who has so far campaigned in Lucknow, Varanasi and Lalitpur, senior leaders and ministers like Anoop Mishra, Kailash Vijaywargia,Narottam Mishra and Gopal Bhargava, have been deputed to galvanise support from the OBC and Brahmin vote bank of Jhansi and Varanasi. “Jhansi has a mix of OBC,Lodhi and Brahmin voters.
Besides Chouhan, who is an OBC, the party has strategically sent Brahmin faces from Madhya Pradesh like Narottam, Anoop and Gopal so that they can appeal to the Brahmin vote bank. The advantage of Chouhan, in addition to his OBC background, is that he appeals to both rural and urban voters,” a senior MP minister said.
Until now, Chouhan has addressed rallies in Lucknow for BJP president Rajnath Singh and two rallies for Bharti in Jhansi on the final day of the campaign on Monday. Jhansi goes to the polls on Wednesday.
State BJP sources said around 500 party workers from MP were sent to Jhansi to campaign for Bharti. “These workers are still camping in areas around Jhansi and have been asked to manage the booths. After the polls in Jhansi are over, the workers will move to Allahabad (polling on May 7) and later to Varanasi,” a party official said. Bharti, who currently represents harkhari in the UP Assembly, is facing an uphill task in Jhansi as she is pitted against Union Minister and sitting MP Pradeep Jain.