Lucknow: The BJP will win 265 of the 404 seats in Uttar Pradesh next year, Keshav Maurya, the party's new state president, said on Monday after arriving here to a grand welcome by supporters.
Enthusiastic party workers mobbed him at the Charbagh railway station as he reached Lucknow by the Shatabdi Express.
Thanking party activists for their support, Maurya exuded confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party would form the next government in Uttar PRadesh. "We will win 265 seats in the 2017 assembly election."
Among those who welcomed him was former state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayi.
Workers danced to Bollywood tunes and patriotic songs as Maurya emerged from the station and drove to the party office on Vidhan Sabha Marg.
Congress activists, however, protested against Maurya's arrival, accusing him of being the extremist face of the BJP.
Congress leaders said Maurya has been sent to the state by the BJP's leadership to polarise voters.
A BJP spokesman said that on his way to Lucknow, Maurya was also greeted warmly in Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Tundla, Etawah and Kanpur -- all the places where the Shatabdi halted.
The BJP won 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh in 2014, with two other seats going to an ally. The Samajwadi Party won five seats while the Congress got just two. The BSP drew a blank.
In subsequent bye-elections, however, the BJP has suffered ups and downs in the state.