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On Saturday, BJP President Amit Shah arrived at Lucknow for his three-day visit in the city. His arrival was followed by the resignation of three state legislators from the UP legislative council. Out of them, two belonged to Akhilesh Yadav’s party, while one hailed from BSP.
As part of the party’s ongoing social outreach programme, Shah visited the residence of a booth-level party worker and shared a meal with Sonu Yadav’s family.
The BJP president was accompanied by CM Yogi Adityanath and other senior party leaders during his visit in the outskirts of the state capital.
BJP leaders have been taking measures to expand their support base across the country. The party seems to be gaining from such endeavours, even as rival parties are faced with the issue of legislators deserting parent outfits across the country.
The measures could help the ruling party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to seek a re-election. UP, being the largest state, accounts for the maximum number of seats (80) in the lower house of the Parliament. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the state had added around 73 seats to the BJP kitty.
In UP, while BJP has been able to consolidate its support base across different castes, including dalits and backward castes, the Yadavs- one of the most dominant backward communities in the state, has stood firm with SP so far. The community regards SP’s patron, Mulayam Singh Yadav, as its de facto leader in UP.
Currently, the backward castes account for around 45 per cent of the total number of eligible voters in UP. Out of this, around 9 per cent is constituted by the Yadavs.
Meanwhile, increasing rift within the erstwhile ruling SP has been a major cause of concern for the opposition party. In the recently concluded Presidential elections as well, schisms were visible with the Mulayam camp openly supporting BJP’s Ram Nath Kovind.
Akhilesh and Mayawati, on their part, trained guns on BJP for allegedly orchestrating the resignations in the party. Akhilesh claimed BJP was jittery to face the by-poll to elect their five ministers, including Yogi, to Vidhan Sabha, since they were still not members of either house of UP legislature and which is mandatory within 6 months of assuming public office.
Adityanath along with four other state ministers are yet to be elected members of the UP legislature. All five need to be elected into either the Vidhan Sabha or the Vidhan Parishad by September 19.
Meanwhile, there are speculations that the present situation in the region may lead to more legislators deserting the parent camps, as far as the opposition parties are concerned.