Zee Media Bureau
Lucknow: After appointing Narendra Modi as its prime Ministerial candidate, the main opposition party, the BJP, has shifted its focus to the Samajwadi Party-ruled and politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.
It was reported on Wednesday that the main opposition party is aiming to capitalise on Narendra Modi`s immense popularity and has asked the Gujarat Chief Minister to address a series of rallies in UP.
The party has given the task of preparing the strategy for Modi`s extensive UP campaign to his close aide Amit Shah, who is also the party`s in-charge of the state.
As per reports, Shah has drawn up an ambitious plan for Modi`s extensive UP tour in the days to come.
Shah yesterday met party president Rajnath Singh and members of the BJP`s Uttar Pradesh unit to finalise campaign strategy.
However, BJP state leaders claimed that there was no discussion on whether Modi, who was named his party`s prime ministerial candidate last Friday, might contest Lok Sabha elections from UP.
There has been much speculation on whether Modi will choose to contest from UP, considered the traditional turf of the Congress` Gandhi family - party chief Sonia Gandhi is the Lok Sabha MP from Rae Bareily and her son Rahul from neighbouring Amethi.
The BJP`s first and only Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee`s Lok Sabha seat was Lucknow.
The party has reportedly planned a massive Modi rally in Lucknow, the state capital, in December with clear instructions to its cadres to ensure more crowds than the ones that BSP chief Mayawati`s rallies draw.
Uttar Pradesh, sources claimed, will be divided into eight zones for the elections, due by May, and each zone will be addressed by the 63-year-old Gujarat Chief Minister, starting next month.
Besides, the party is also likely to look for "suitable candidates for the Lok Sabha election keeping in mind the social fabric of the constituency."
The exercise comes at a time when the state`s Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav is struggling with the aftermath of communal clashes which killed nearly 50 people and displaced 40,000 in Muzaffarnagar. The young CM has faced angry protests.
Uttar Pradesh, with its 80 seats, contributes about 15 percent of the Lok Sabha`s 545 MPs and plays an important role in deciding which party comes to power at the Centre. In the 2009 General Elections, the BJP was last behind the Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress.
(With Agency inputs)