BJP races ahead in preparing for UP by-elections
Lucknow, Aug 17 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh is gearing up for by-elections to 13 Assembly seats, the dates for which are likely to be announced next month.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is already racing ahead of all other parties when it comes to preparations for the by-elections. The party has initiated the process of short-listing its candidates and ministers and legislators have been tasked with ensuring the party's victory in all these assembly segments.
By-elections are to be held in 11 assembly segments from where BJP legislators have been elected to the Lok Sabha and one seat (Hamirpur) where the sitting BJP lawmaker Ashok Chandel has been disqualified following his conviction in a murder case. The 13th seat fell vacant following the demise of BJP MLA Jagan Garg (Agra).
The by-polls are to be held in Gangoh, Iglas, Tundla, Govind Nagar, Manikpur, Hamirpur, Lucknow Cantonment, Zaidpur, Balha, Agra (all won by the BJP in 2017), Pratapgarh Sadar (Apna Dal-Sonelal), Rampur (Samajwadi Party), and Jalalpur (Bahujan Samaj Party).
"We will win all 13 seats and we are working towards this goal. Our workers' mood is upbeat and people are fully supportive of the Modi government's move to scrap Article 370 in Kashmir," said party state General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak.
While the BJP is working overtime to win the by-elections, the Samajwadi Party is yet to mobilize its cadres for the by-elections. SP President Akhilesh Yadav has not taken any visible steps yet to gear up the party for the by-elections.
The party faces the challenge of winning back its Rampur seat which was earlier held by Mohd Azam Khan.
"We are working for the by-elections but we are not publicizing our efforts," said party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary.
The BSP, for the first time in recent years, has decided to contest the by-elections which will ensure a multi-cornered contest that will work to the BJP's advantage.
The Congress, however, is undecided about contesting the by-elections. A section of the party had earlier told the party high command that it would not be wise to contest by-elections until the party was confident of winning. The final decision in the matter is still awaited.