BJP to ‘drastically improve’ seat tally in Uttar Pradesh

June 21st, 2008 - 10:54 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Lucknow, June 21 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will concentrate on reviving its fortunes in Uttar Pradesh during the general elections slated for next year and finalise its candidates by September, state unit president Ramapati Ram Tripathi has said. The party would launch its campaign early. “Once the party decides its candidates early, it would give the contestants enough time to plan out their campaign properly,” Tripathi told IANS.

The BJP has only 10 Lok Sabha members at present and the “tally would drastically improve”, he said. “The writing is on the wall.”

He ducked a question on who would be the BJP’s candidate from Lucknow since it is widely believed that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the present member of parliament from the city, would not contest the polls.

The BJP would concentrate on building up its organizational structure afresh, he said.

The party’s top priority in Uttar Pradesh at present is to set up Lok Sabha election committees of party workers according to the booths and hold periodic rallies, Tripathi said.

At the grassroots level, conventions of booth committees would be organised. The party’s poll campaign related public rallies would continue till September.

To be called Vijay Sankalp rallies, they would be launched June 27 from Kanpur by the party’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani.

Asked how the party proposed to deal with the differences between senior BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh, Tripathi merely said: “Ours is a party, and not anyone’s personal property, so opinions do co-exist. Decisions in any case are taken jointly.”

The differences between former chief minister Kalyan Singh, Kesrinath Tripathi, Lalji Tandon and Kalraj Mishra, are well known and have been the BJP’s bane in the state.

He parried a question on which of the two main players, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or the Samajwadi Party, the BJP would ally with during the elections.

Tripathi said, “There are going to be two poles - the National Democratic Alliance, led by L.K. Advani, and the United Progressive Alliance. Regional parties won’t matter.”

The state BJP chief said that among six chief campaign issues of the party would be the absence of a leader in the UPA, who the coalition could project as its prime ministerial candidate, “unlike us where we have Advani”.

Price rise, internal security, appeasement of minorities and terrorism would be the other campaign issues, he said.

Tripathi said: “As for Uttar Pradesh, institutionalization of corruption in the government and law and order would be the key issues. Minister after minister is being involved in serious crimes like murder, where is the law and order?”

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