BJP makes revival bid in Uttar Pradesh

March 8th, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by admin  

Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), March 8 (IANS) A two-day meet of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Uttar Pradesh state executive commenced here Saturday, aiming to infuse new life into its rank and file in India’s most populous state. But the absence of any prominent central leader left organisers high and dry. Further, it appeared from former chief minister and the party’s national vice-president Kalyan Singh’s tough talk that the BJP was not going to have it easy.

“If we fail to form the next central government, we can forget about riding to power over the next 10 years,” Kalyan Singh told the gathering in the assembly hall of Saraswati Shishu Mandir, while predicting a Lok Sabha poll towards the end of 2008.

He admitted that the much-hyped Ram Sethu issue alone would not take the party far ahead. “Well, both Lord Ram and Ram Sethu are important for us, but we have to take up people’s issues and agitate on the streets to make our presence felt,” he stressed.

“We must maintain that tempo over at least the next three months before we can think of re-establishing ourselves in the state,” he pointed out.

“If we have to form a government at the centre, we must put up a minimum tally of 165 seats, then only we would be able to keep our NDA (National Democratic Alliance) constituents together,” he told a press conference.

“And in order to achieve that, we must have a target of at least 35 out of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 Lok Sabha seats.”

He expressed concern that the BJP had failed to even open its account in as many as 38 of the state’s 70 districts in the last assembly elections. “We ought to do something serious about our failure to win a single seat in 38 districts,” he said.

“We should first make a firm resolve to win the next election and then concentrate on a fair and objective selection of candidates, purely on considerations of merit - nothing else.”

Earlier, addressing the meet, low-profile state BJP chief Ramapati Ram referred to the terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in Rampur earlier this year. “We are the only party fighting against terrorism, all other parties are interested only in minority appeasement.”

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