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A Chief Minister For UP: BJP, RSS to conduct survey

Ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls scheduled for next year, incumbent party at the Centre the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to conduct a survey before declaring the Chief Ministerial candidate for the state.

Taking a cue from the Bihar debacle, the BJP top leadership is now determined to retain the last general election’s mandate in Uttar Pradesh. In Bihar also such surveys had been conducted but the state unit had a say in the final ticket distribution. But this time around state unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya would only be putting his final initials on the lists finalised by the party top brass.

The decision has been taken after Thursday’s meeting between the party president Amit Shah and its parent and country’s largest right-wing organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) top leadership in Bhopal.

For the upcoming UP Assembly polls, RSS functionaries are micromanaging election strategies and have already started consultations with key stakeholders. The consultation process is part of the larger exercise to assess and evaluate views within. Sunil Bansal, Om Mathur and several other BJP leaders who have RSS background were brought in to the war room in Lucknow by Shah. They are playing a key role in the upcoming Assembly polls of the state.

The RSS men “loaned” to the party are involved in planning, giving shape to programmes and guiding the cadre in all poll-bound states. However, they have no personal political interests and they maintain an objective approach detached from any differences within the organisation. Their shift from the Sangh to organisational roles in the party does not alter this approach.

According to party sources, responsibility of conducting the survey has been given to a private agency. Not only for the CM face, but the agency will also conduct booth-based surveys to distribute tickets for election as well. The party headquarters has decided that only those would be given tickets that would emerge winners in the survey.

Meanwhile, the saffron party seems to use the recent political developments and the Samajwadi Party (SP) led state government’s failure to control the law and order situation as a bludgeon to revise its poll strategy, where the heterogeneous caste ecosystem might be a major hindrance for the BJP.

The party, however, in the eyes of political observers, would be happy that a resurgent Congress would only damage the Dalit, Muslim vote banks of the SP and BSP. 
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