ALLAHABAD: If posters were any measure of a leader’s popularity then BJP MP Varun Gandhi, also a contender for Uttar Pradesh CM post, would beat anyone in the party. In Modi-Shah era, Gandhi scion has done the unthinkable, as his posters have attracted more attention than any other BJP leader.
Gandhi, who emerged as top choice for UP CM’s post, in almost all surveys within and outside the party, has put up a show of strength. While, many posters in the city carried mission 265+ figure, Gandhi’s posters had a target of getting 300 seats out of the 403 seat assembly.
He arrived in the Allahabad on Sunday amidst cheering by his supporters. How many BJP leaders were quick to point out that posters would not decide the outcome of political decisions.
Areas around the venue have been decked with posters, leaving little visual space. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are two only constants in all the billboards and posters of varying sizes, as other leaders like LK Advani, AB Vajpayee, MM Joshi, were reduced to stamp sized presence.
Countering the BJP’s massive publicity blitzkrieg was Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav’s huge banners and billboards on the work done by the Samajwadi party government in the state.
BJP CMs like Raman Singh also had put up posters highlighting progress made under their regime.
Posters had another interesting aspect as many of them prominently carried pictures of Bihari Babu Shatrughan Sinha, who has been vocal about his views on some of the party’s decisions. He was not spotted on first day of the conference.
Also featured in some in posters was former BJP general secretary Sanjay Joshi, who has been opposed by Modi.
Veteran Murli Manohar Joshi had spent significant part of his teaching and political career here, as he was a local MP. His posters were too apparent in the Kumbh city. Though there were suggestions that he was sidelined, he attended the national executive meeting. Telecom minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said BJP respected its veterans and there was no question of neglecting anyone.
Sidelights at BJP meet
All office bearers wore Assamese scarfs around their necks at the BJP NE meet. This was to mark party's newly formed government in Assam.
RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal , who acts as a laision between Sangh and BJP was also present during office bearer meet. He had helped BJP in Lok Sabha elections
To treat the delegates and PM, local unit had prepared Gujarati food, punjabi, marathi dishes, southern, apart from serving chat andlangda mango Senior leaders, cabinet ministers and CMs took out time to visit Sangam, confluence of Ganga, and Yamuna and temples to pay their obeisance
Those spotted at Sangam were Gujarat CM Anandiben, Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, tribal affairs minister Jual Oram, Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabhudde
Some ministers also coincided their Allahabad visit to take stock of schemes run by their ministeries. Pradhan and thawar chand gehlot held meeting on welfare schemes that could help BJP in next elections