With eye on UP, BJP to project united face

It seems the BJP has finally realised the meaning of the adage “United we stand, divided we fall”. With eyes on the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2012, the party has asked its senior leaders from the state to project a “united” BJP in the poll-bound state.
The party’s state unit and senior state leadership is often in the news for growing factionalism. The message from the BJP top brass to them recently was if they want to better their performance from the last Assembly polls when the party won 51 seats, its leaders will have to work in sync.
A recent survey conducted by the party shows there are 35 to 40 per cent “floating voters” which the party wants to influence.
A number of public rallies are scheduled by the party which senior leaders from the state, including Kalraj Mishra, national vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, former BJP chief Rajnath Singh, state unit chief Surya Pratap Shahi and senior leader Lalji Tandon, will address.
Mr Mishra has already been announced as the head of the party’s election committee for the UP polls. The survey also suggested that factionalism is one of the main reasons why the party’s performance graph is yet to take an upward swing in this key state.
The BJP top brass has conveyed to its UP leaders that they will have to settle their differences if they want to present the BJP as the best option to voters, sources said.
The party, which is in an upbeat mood after the Bihar poll results and response to its anti-corruption campaign, will soon announce its working group for the UP polls. The group is likely to consist of leaders like Mr Mishra, Mr Singh, Mr Naqvi, Mr Mishra, Mr Shahi and senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar.
For selection of candidates, the party will set up a three-level screening committee and consultation with district-level leaders on probable candidates will be given much stress.
During the last Assembly polls, the BJP top brass had received complaints for not consulting with district-level leaders and selecting candidates without proper screening.

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