New Delhi: After being on the verge of extinction in Uttar Pradesh for more than a decade, the two main political parties, the Congress and the BJP, have pinned their hopes on the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Interestingly, the ray of hope for both the political parties is the newly-appointed BJP poll committee campaign chief and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. While the saffron party is confident that  Modi's charisma will help the BJP in winning a massive victory, the Congress is optimistic that elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister within the party will polarize the vote in its favour.

This is the reason why the Congress has launched an aggressive campaign against the saffron party, Modi in particular, instead of targeting the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). On the other hand, the BJP has decided to take on the SP and Congress over the issue of Muslim appeasement.

It is to be noted that the Congress had taken everybody by surprise by wining 22 Lok Sabha seats in the last general elections, but failed to repeat its performance during assembly elections. This time Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has entrusted the responsibility of Uttar Pradesh to general secretary Madhusudan Mistry, who led the party to massive victory in the recently-held Karnataka assembly elections. Mistry has been working in Uttar Pradesh for quite a long time.

Mistry’s main target in the coming elections will be the BJP. According to sources, apart from Modi, the Congress will also focus on social equations in the distribution of tickets. The Congress is expected to keep its campaign centralized over only one message: ‘Congress is the only option before people if they want to stop BJP (Modi)’. According to the Congress, the SP or BSP cannot be an alternative to BJP.

On the other hand, the BJP will target both the Congress and SP equally. Interestingly, like Mistry, the BJP in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Amit Shah, is also from Gujarat. There are clear indications that Shah can apply Gujarat formula during distributions of tickets in Uttar Pradesh. Along with focusing on inducting youths in the party, the main focus of the saffron party will be the issue of appeasement of Muslims.

While the BJP will try to woo people by showing Gujarat growth model, the Congress will try to raise the issue of corruption and lop-sided development of Gujarat before the people of Uttar Pradesh.

Raj Kishore/JPN

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