BJP Banks on KP Mau­rya in UP to Check Mayawati

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

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.

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