BJP plans to field OBC candidates in general seats and Muslim candidates in minority-dominated areas in upcoming urban local body polls in Uttar Pradesh.
According to BJP sources, reports The Indian Express, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and top state unit leaders of the party reached a consensus on these issues during a meeting on Monday.
After the State Election Commission announced the local urban body poll dates, the Chief Minister called a meeting of BJP leaders to discuss the party's preparations. During the meeting, suggestions from ministers and party leaders were taken into consideration.
“At the meeting, it was suggested that if there is a chance of winning unreserved seats or general category seats by fielding OBC candidates, then it should be done. This would be separate from the 27 per cent seats reserved for the Other Backward Class (OBCs),” said a party member, as per the report, adding the idea is to win the trust of the OBCs before next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
“The winnability of the OBC candidate on such seats will be assessed according to their popularity in the area and the social equations in the constituency,” the leader added.
The party leader announced the decision to nominate Muslim candidates in seats with a strong minority presence, potentially choosing Pasmanda or other Muslim candidates. The move was said to be aimed at persuading the BJP's Hindu base to vote for the selected candidates.
“The BJP had fielded Muslim candidates in a few seats in the previous urban local body polls, but the results were not satisfactory,” the leader added.
Starting Tuesday, the BJP ministers who have been assigned specific districts for poll preparations will embark on a tour of the constituencies scheduled to go to polls in the first phase on 4 May.
“Preparations will be done in a phased manner… The ministers during the field visit will hold meetings of district core committees and meet local party office bearers. They will maintain dialogue with workers and the public, address their grievances and hold discussions also on names of possible candidates for mayor, chairpersons and ward members.
They will also highlight the development and welfare works that the government has done in the area,” a BJP leader said.
“The minister in charge of the district will have a role in screening local candidates. They will also collect suggestions for drafting a manifesto,” the leader added.
The Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) declared two-phase Urban Local Body elections on 4 May and 11 May for 14,864 posts in 760 local bodies. Counting will take place on 13 May.
The Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Department had released a reservation notification, designating nine out of 17 mayoral seats. The announcement was made prior to the SEC's poll dates release.
The mayoral seats reserved include one for the Scheduled Caste category in Jhansi, one for Scheduled Caste women in Agra, two for OBC women in Shahjahanpur and Firozabad, two for the OBC category in Saharanpur and Meerut, and three for women in Lucknow, Kanpur, and Ghaziabad.
760 local bodies will have a total of 760 leadership positions: 17 mayors, 199 Nagar Palika Parishad chairpersons, and 544 Nagar Panchayat chairpersons.
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