BJP Banks on KP Maurya in UP to Check Mayawati
New Delhi: Ending months of confusions, the BJP leadership on Friday picked up first time Lok Sabha member Keshav Prasad Maurya as the new chief of party’s Uttar Pradesh unit to woo the mandal (non-Upper caste) & Kamandal (Ram Temple/Hindutva championing) forces in politicallycrucial state that goes to polls in less than a year’s time.
Maurya, the first-ever saffron Lok Sabha members from Phulpur which was represented by Jawahar Lal Nehru in the past, has been actively associated with Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and had participated as a Kar Sevak during Ram Temple agitation of 1992. He has also been involved in cow-protection activities which is dear to RSS.
While his VHP association is likely to keep party’s traditional Hindutva supportbase, Maurya’s background hailing from Koeri community, a significant non-Yadav OBC community across the state, is likely to appeal the backward community in the state. The very fact that he replaces Laxmi Kant Bajpai, an upper caste Brahmin, is another signal to state’s non-Yadav backward communities from the BJP.
Maurya, in all, is part of BJP’s electoral gambit to mobilise non-Yadav and non-Jatav hindu communities in the state to unravel about 15 years of unchecked political dominance of Mayawati-led BSP and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP in the state assembly.
It is with this plot in mind, BJP’s first time non-Yadav and non-Jatav leaders like Ram Shankar Katheria, Nirnajan Jyoti and Sanjeev Balyan were inducted into Narendra Modi’s council of ministers and Amit Shah has inducted SPS Baghel as BJP’s first ever national OBC Morcha chief. A signal of Maurya’s rise was given by Shah early last year when this first time MP was inducted into party’s national execu- tive as special invitee.
In another decision, BJP chief Amit Shah has announced Union minister Vijay Sampla as the new chief of Punjab which goes to polls around the time with Uttar Pradesh. Sampla hails from a Dalit community, which has a sizeable presence in Punjab where the saffron party contests elections in alliance with Akali Dal, which derives its core supportbase from Sikh community. Additionally, Shah has brought former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa as the new BJP chief in Congress-ruled Karnataka that goes to polls in 2018. Yeddyurappa will replace Prahlad Joshi as the new Karnataka chief.
Hailing from politically dominant Lingaya community in the state, Yeddyurappa is also considered a farmers leader and is expected to mount a challenge to incumbent Siddharamaiah government in the state. The BJP leadership today also declared Tapir Gao and Dr K Laxman as par ty’s state unit chiefs in Arunachal Pradesh and Telangana, respectively.