Party hopes anti-corruption campaign at national level will resonate in State

Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari has asked three key leaders to give special attention to Uttar Pradesh in the next two years. The Assembly elections in the State are due in the summer of 2012.

At a meeting related to the party organisation on the sidelines of the Guwahati conclave that ended on Sunday, Mr. Gadkari decided that the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and former party president, Rajnath Singh, the former State unit president and MP, Kalraj Mishra, and Saudan Singh, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak, who currently helps general secretary for organisation Ramlal, will focus their energy on Uttar Pradesh affairs.

In the 2007 Assembly election in which Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party won a bare but clear majority, the BJP's numbers were just about 50 in the Assembly with a total strength of 402.

The party leadership is aware that unless it improves its strength dramatically in this State, it cannot hope to perform well even in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. This State alone sent over 50 MPs to the Lok Sabha in several consecutive general elections — 1996, 1998 and 1999 — before dropping to just 10 in the 2009 election.

The Ram temple issue is expected to be once again used by the party. In Guwahati, Mr. Gadkari has appealed to Muslims to give up all claims to the disputed site in Ayodhya.

The party hopes its anti-corruption campaign at the national level will also resonate in the State. But more than this, the high food inflation is what it is banking on.

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