Out of the overall 33 seats, where voting is yet to be held, the BJP won only four seats -Gorakhpur, Bansgaon, Varanasi and Azamgarh in 2009 when the saffron party was not even in direct contest in the rest 29 seats.

The party had to stay contented with third position on 14 other seats and their performance in 11 other constituencies were so poor that they finished on the fourth place. On several seats, the BJP candidates had to forfeit their deposit.

These entire factors make up for a quite interesting set up and Modi’s charisma will be put into test in this region.

In order to recover from an uncomfortable position, the BJP brought several strategies into application. To give an effective counter to Congress stronghold areas like Amethi and Rae Bareli, the party fielded its firebrand leader and an estranged member of Gandhi family – Varun Gandhi from neighbouring Sultanpur instead of Pilibhit.

Besides, the party has also been able to woo several heavyweights Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, Kirtivardhan Singh and Jagdambika Pal into their fold and granted tickets. They parachuted Kalraj Mishra to a far flung area like Deoria to contest the LS polls.

Samajwadi Party supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav lost no time in announcing his candidature from Azamgarh the moment BJP said that Modi will contest from the prestigious seat of Varanasi.

Apart from that, the saffron party wasted little time in entering into an alliance with a small-time outfit Apna Dal. The prime intent behind this tie-up was to make a draw support of Kurmi which has sizable presence in areas like Varansai, Mirzapur, Bhadohi, Phulpur, Pratapgarh and Allahabad.

There is a belief among the party as well as in Modi camp that BJP would be able to make a considerable lead over their opponents by emerging triumphant in the Purvanchal region. And it’s mainly due to this very region, the party has invested their full strength in putting up a good show there. Even Modi has focused all his attention in the area and an agenda of several developmental projects meant for the region are in the party’s scheme of things.

According to Mission Modi strategy, the party would give an ample amount of attention mainly in the Congress stronghold of Amethi and Varanasi, from where the Gujarat Chief Minister is contesting. The party is trying to make its presence felt by putting up a spirited show in these areas.

JPN/Bureau

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