Faction feuds in the Uttar Pradesh BJP have taken a heavy toll on Narendra Modi’s plans to mobilise support for his prime ministerial bid in the forthcoming elections, a section of party leaders said.
In 28 districts, Modi’s iron collection programme for building the tallest statue of the world failed to take off. And a programme to raise an army of “campus ambassadors” to win over the hearts of the youth is confined to social networks.
So has been the fate of other programmes such as “Narendra Ko Naman” and “run for unity”, which took place only in a few cities.
Since the beginning of the Lok Sabha election campaign, the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate have focused on the state having the largest number of Parliament seats.
And Modi dispatched his trusted lieutenant Amit Shah to supervise the campaign and other party activities in the state.
While Modi addressed half-a-dozen successful rallies, Shah extensively toured the state to infuse a fresh lease of life in the moribund party organisation but their efforts seem to have failed to energise the party at the district level. The saffron party has been on a downslide for the last one decade and is a marginal player in the state now.
The party not only failed to increase its 2004 tally of 10 Lok Sabha seats in 2009, but also saw its numbers coming down to 48 from 51 in a House of 403 in the 2012 Assembly polls.
Senior leader Om Prakash Singh lamented that lethargic party workers in 275 villages failed to meet the February 10 deadline for collecting one kilogram of iron from their villages.
When Bhartiya Yuva Morcha president Anurag Thakur convened a meeting of the district office-bearers of the party’s youth wing, only 30 leaders turned up. Thakur is learnt to have strictly warned those who gave the critical meeting a miss.