Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 24
The contours of the BJP-led NDA alliance appear to be in place for the crucial elections to Uttar Pradesh, next year.
The saffron party on Friday announced alliance with Sanjay Nishad-led Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal (Nishad party), which represents communities like fishermen and boatmen whose traditional occupations are centred on rivers.
Making the announcement, UP election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan said the BJP will contest the upcoming elections in alliance with the Nishad party and the Apna Dal, whose leader Anupriya Patel is also a minister of state in the Narendra Modi council in the Centre.
Both Pradhan and state party chief Swatantra Dev Singh specified that the alliance will contest under the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thereby putting at rest all speculations regarding the “face” for the key fight.
Exuding confidence of the “lotus blooming again” with more strength than 2017, Pradhan said due respect will be given to both the allies in the distribution of seats.
“People have unwavering faith in PM Narendra Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath. Their trust is our biggest asset. We will win on the basis of the work of the government and strength of our organisation and cadres. The progress made by UP in past four and a half years is exemplary,” said Pradhan who is in UP for the ground work on the forthcoming polls.
The BJP, which is holding detailed analysis of each and every sitting MLA, is expected to drop all those failing to make the cut. Sources say that it may drop as many as 50 per cent of the sitting MLAs to beat anti-incumbency and negative perceptions against the party.
In the 2017 elections, the saffron party won 312 of 403 Assembly seats with close to 40 per cent vote share, restricting the Samajwadi Party to 47 seats, the BSP to 19 and the Congress to seven seats. This year the UP arena has another player, the Aam Aadmi Party. Recently its leader Sanjay Singh announced that AAP will field candidates in all 403 seats for the upcoming elections.
In 2017, the Nishad party, which contested in alliance with other small groupings, had won just one constituency. In fact, its leader Sanjay Nishad came third in the Gorakhpur Rural seat. However, his son Praveen Nishad won the 2018 Lok Sabha by-poll from Gorakhpur as a joint Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party candidate. In 2019, Nishad allied with the BJP and Praveen Nishad was elected to Lok Sabha from Sant Kabir Nagar.
Groupings like the Nishad party and the Apna Dal with specific caste bases are critical for the saffron party hoping to reclaim the state amid tough challenge from the SP.
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