Lucknow: Stung by its back to back defeats in recent elections in Uttar Pradesh, BJP is seriously contemplating measures to breathe fresh life in its state unit in the next couple of months.
"We have to make the organisation fighting fit for the Assembly Elections in early 2017," a senior BJP leader said here on Tuesday.
The move to tone up the organisation in Uttar Pradesh comes against the backdrop of the Assembly bypolls where the party lost nine of the 12 seats it held, the cantonment board polls, especially in Varanasi and Lucknow, followed by the just-concluded Legislative Council biennial elections where the party failed to ensure victory of its second candidate.
"We are upset," the BJP leader said when asked to comment on the party's continuing defeats.
Adding to BJP's cup of woes, the state's ruling Samajwadi Party and opposition BSP won an extra seat each with support of Congress, RLD and some other parties, besides Independents. Polling was held for 12 seats and SP won eight, BSP three and BJP just one.
The string of defeats came barely eight months after BJP had scored a landslide victory bagging 71 of the 80 seats in UP in the May 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The party's loss of face in the recent cantonment board elections became more pronounced as Varanasi is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency, while Lucknow is the home turf of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The exercise to tone up the party's UP unit is likely to be carried out after the ongoing membership drive which will end on March 31.
Though Assembly Elections are due in 2017, these could be advanced. "Keeping this in mind, we have to act without wasting time," the party functionary said.
BJP state chief Laxmi Kant Bajpai said that with an eye on state Assembly elections, the party was making all out efforts to enrol maximum number of members from every section of the society in UP.
"Our strength will grow by leaps and bounds before the Assembly Elections," he said.
Bajpai said the membership drive will continue till March 31 after which verification will be done in April and May.
In June, July and August, programmes will be held to impart training to new members who would be informed about the ideology of the party and what should be their behaviour in the current scenario.
BJP has set a target of enrolling 1.5 crore new members in UP and it has already crossed one crore mark.
Seeking to downplay BJP's defeat in Assembly by-polls, he said it had always been won by the ruling party.
"You see the history...Bypolls have always been won by the ruling party. This time we won in urban areas. As far as cantonment board elections are concerned, we won the seats where we had no presence and are going to have vice-chairman at five places," he said.
Sources said the central party leadership is unhappy with with Union ministers, MPs and MLAs who did not work for these elections.
Apparently, several Union ministers and MPs did not campaign for the Assembly bypolls and the cantonment board elections because they believed it was below their status.
For the first time BJP had fielded its candidates in these elections and had also declared its list of official candidates.
BJP's recent defeat in the Legislative Council Elections is also seen by senior leaders as a result of lack of coordination between the state unit and the legislature party.
The party leaders did not even try to win over Independents and smaller parties, the sources rued, pointing out at infighting in the state BJP unit.