The state’s western region, which has become politically crucial mainly due to the polarizing environment generated post-Muzaffarnagar communal riots, may see Ramdev and his disciples batting for the saffron party.

It needs to be mentioned here that Ramdev has come clear on his inclination towards BJP and this may play a pivotal role in shaping up the overall poll dynamics.

The BJP parliamentary board is expected to come out with its first list of candidates on 7th February, which would clear mist off the panes to a certain extent.

Western UP, as of now, is trapped in a bog of polarization after Muzaffarnagar riots and it has become an experimental ground for most of the political parties to test their prospects. In fact, there have been a series of show of might by several parties in the past one month in the state.

Jats and Muslims play a significant role in deciding the fate of several seats in West UP and taking a note of this very fact, rallies are being organized at large to appease them. Even the Centre is feeling the heat generated by the series of developments.

Amid all these, when Ramdev shared the dais with BJP, he demanded tickets from his followers in exchange of providing support. In the meeting held with BJP high command, Ramdev has expressed his desire to field his candidates from Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur parliamentary seats. He has also been learnt to have placed suggestion for fielding ‘candidates’ in Uttarakhand as well.

Ramdev has proposed Swami Omvesh’s name from Bijnor seat. Omvesh, who held the portfolio of sugarcane ministry in Uttar Pradesh cabinet, is an MLA from Chandpur. He fits the bill almost aptly when it comes to Jat equation, but the BJP is weighing the name of party’s state vice-president Ashok Kataria and Bharatendu Singh as there is belief in the saffron camp that both these leaders can give the ex-UP minister a good run for money.

Former IAS officer SK Verma and Ramendra Singh, who has invested lots of efforts in campaigning for a long time, are also trying their hands out. The Opposition says that Omvesh is no longer associated with BJP. It’s pertinent to note here that Omvesh had proposed popular poet Hariom Panwar’s name before BJP high command. Since Hariom is related to Jat community, he is seen as someone who could play a decisive role in determining the course of the current political trend. However, even Hariom is not associated with BJP.

It has been learnt from well-placed sources that BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party president Rajnath Singh have given a formal nod to conditions placed by Ramdev. Though the yoga exponent has expressed desire to field his candidate from Saharanpur, no name has surfaced yet.

On the other hand, if Rajnath Singh vacates Ghaziabad seat, former Army chief General VK Singh may be fielded from there. Besides, in Baghpat, the BJP has got a key shot in the arm in the form of Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh.

JPN/Bureau

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