New Delhi: In the wake of communal riots in Uttar Pradesh, especially the recent one in Muzaffarnagar, BJP has decided to capitalise on the likely polarisation of votes and will extensively use the services of its Hindutva icon Narendra Modi in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
The political situation in UP was discussed at a BJP Core Group meeting here in which party office-bearers from the state and leaders in-charge took part. Muzaffarnagar riots, its political fallout and the gains and losses, were debated at length in the meeting.
Those present in the meeting said there is near unanimity in the party that BJP will gain in Western UP as well as other parts of the state due to the riots. The party is even hopeful of wresting the Jat votes from RLD, which has traditionally held sway over them, in the Lok Sabha polls because of polarisation.
"BJP will try to work at social engineering after a spate of riots in UP since Samajwadi Party came to power one-and-a -half years ago," a party leader said.
Party President Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting attended among others by general secretaries Amit Shah and Varun Gandhi, Vice Presidents Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Vinay Katiyar, UP state unit President Lakshmikant Bajpai, and Kalyan Singh.
BJP has divided the state into eight zones - West, Braj, Rohilkhand, Kanpur, Awadh, Bundelkhand, Gorakhpur and Kashi - and will hold rallies of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in each one of them after Navratras. This will be followed by a rally in Lucknow, sources said.
Asked if there was any discussion as to who will be fielded from which constituency and whether Modi himself will contest from the state, party leaders said the matter was not discussed. "Reports of Modi contesting from UP are only in the media," a prominent leader from UP said.
BJP is upbeat over reports that Muslim vote appears to be divided at the moment as the minority community is unhappy with SP government after the Muzaffarnagar riots.