NEW DELHI: The BJP is ready with a publicity blitz to occupy the Uttar Pradesh skyline with 3,500 billboards ahead of its poll campaign. However, the faces on them will be just a few.
Apart from the visage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra and Uma Bharti and state unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya find space on the hoardings. The aim is to attract Brahmin, Thakur and OBC voters. “Though over a dozen Union ministers are from UP, only those with a strong hold in the state will be highlighted,” said a senior party leader.
Upper castes form 19-24 per cent of UP’s voters. Brahmins alone comprise 13 per cent. “Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra will target Thakur and Brahmin votes. Maurya and Uma Bharti are strong OBC faces,” added the leader.
The backward castes’ vote share is over 23 per cent. “Bharti is also known as as a hardcore Hindutva leader,” added the leader, hinting that caste and religion will play a crucial role in the vote drive.
For publicity, the BJP has for divided UP into four parts—Eastern and Western UP, central and Bundelkhand regions, with the maximum billboards in the first two. Western UP, including Lucknow, gets top billing with over 1,700 hoardings. The East gets 1,400 massive ones. Central UP will have around 300 and the Bundelkhand area just 170.
“In western UP, our focus is on the dominant Jat farming community. The eastern part, which includes the PM’s constituency Varanasi, is also important . Modi has visited several places including Kushinagar, Ballia and Ghazipur for rallies and launching projects,” added the leader.