BJP eyes recasting its organization ahead of the big 2024 political battle

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started its preparations for next year’s Lok Sabha elections and there may be a reshuffle in the state organization very soon. Also, the possibility of BJP’s alliance with Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (Subhaspa) in the Lok Sabha elections has also increased.

State BJP President Bhupendra Singh Chowdhary said in an interview to ‘PTI-Bhasha’ that there would not be a major change in the organization but partial reorganization would be done very soon. He also said, “Rajbhar ji (Subhaspa president Omprakash Rajbhar) has been with us and certainly if he agrees with the ideology, the party will give him an opportunity to work with him, I am sure.”

In the meeting of the BJP State Working Committee held in Lucknow last month, Bhupendra Singh Chowdhary had set a target of winning all the 80 seats in the state in the Lok Sabha elections and for this the responsibility and accountability of the party officials had been fixed. However, Choudhary was asked about his state committee not being formed till now, he said, “I was given the opportunity to work as the president in the mid-session by the party. Some people of the organization have become ministers in the government, so I requested the leadership of the party for partial reorganization and I have received its permission. Soon we will move forward in this process. There will not be a major change but partial restructuring will be done.

Before clarifying the organizational system, he said, “BJP has a democratic system. Elections to the Lok Sabha are to be held in nine states this year and next year in the country. Apart from this, if the body elections are to be held in Uttar Pradesh, then the National Working Committee of BJP has extended the tenure of the National President till June 2024 and in the same order, the tenure of the state, districts and mandals has been extended till 2024.

Bhupendra Singh Chowdhary, who hails from the dominant backward caste Jat community, was made state party president by the BJP in August last year and subsequently resigned as Panchayati Raj minister in the Yogi Adityanath-led government. When asked about the people performing dual responsibility in the organization and the government, there is a principle of one person one post in the BJP and you too resigned from the ministerial post as soon as you became the state president, but even after becoming minister many office bearers remained in the organization. He said, “Some people are in the government but they do not interfere in the day-to-day work of the organization. His activity is not in organizational work. He is honestly fulfilling the responsibility he got in the government.

It is worth noting that Urban Development and Energy Minister of the State Government Arvind Kumar Sharma, Minister of State for Transport (Independent Charge) Dayashankar Singh, Vice President in the state organization and Minister of State for Cooperatives (Independent Charge) JPS Rathore are currently holding the responsibility of the State General Secretary.

Apart from these, Minister of State Government Baby Rani Maurya is the National Vice President of the party. On getting closer to BJP’s former ally Subhaspa President Om Prakash Rajbhar again and hinting at an alliance in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Chowdhary said, “Our stand is clear, we welcome everyone.” Whoever agrees with our views and wants to work with us, then there is no problem in taking them along. We will take everyone along. Rajbhar ji has been with us and I am sure that if he agrees with the ideology, the party will give him an opportunity to work with him.

Rajbhar contested the 2017 assembly elections in alliance with the BJP and his party won four seats. He became a minister in the Yogi government. However, within two years, his alliance with the BJP broke and he was thrown out of the government. Rajbhar’s party had joined hands with the Samajwadi Party in 2022 and won six of the 403 seats in the assembly. Coming in support of the BJP candidate during the presidential election, Rajbhar’s distance from the SP chief increased and he became vocal in his opposition. Later their alliance broke and now he has become a vocal opponent of SP’s policies. Significantly, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in alliance with Apna Dal (Sonelal), the BJP won 64 of the 80 seats in the state, while the Congress won one, the SP five and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 10. Then SP-BSP had contested the elections together in alliance.

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