Not only this, Modi has focused on Purvanchal. Political equations are also a big factor.
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In 2013, Modi, who came to address the BJP Vijaya Shankhanad rallies in Gorakhpur and Varanasi as the prime ministerial candidate, will be remembered for raising the issue of Purvanchal misery. The then non-BJP central and state governments were blamed for the plight. Promised to bring about a radical change in it. Its impact was also seen and in 2014, the BJP, including its ally Apna Dal, won 21 of the 22 Lok Sabha seats in Purvanchal.
Opposition parties should not be given a chance
The BJP’s landslide victory in 2014 sent a message of confidence to Modi in Purvanchal, where every single Lok Sabha seat, except for four or five, remains a challenge for the BJP. On this basis, the party said that the BJP government was needed for the development of the region in the 2017 assembly elections. The result is also very encouraging. In 2017, the BJP, along with its ally Apna Dal and then its ally Subhash, won 124 seats in the assembly in the region.
The BJP central leadership handed over the leadership to Purvanchal by making Yogi Adityanath, a five-time party MP from Gorakhpur, the chief minister after the formation of the government in the state. At the same time, he tried to reassure him of his determination to enrich Purvanchal’s misery. Much work has been done, from the construction of roads to facilities and concerns. From medicine to the establishment of educational institutions, to the campaign to change their nature, the BJP has constantly strengthened its grip and approach in the region. The establishment of the Purvanchal Development Board gave a message of commitment to the development of the area. This work was done to enhance tourism facilities by connecting people with cultural heritage and concerns.
The political significance of Purvanchal
The results of the last three elections have shown that Prime Minister Modi and CM Yogi have enriched the region, which was once considered politically barren by the BJP, with their activism and work. In the current scenario, Purvanchal’s priority for the BJP has increased by 2022. The main reason for this is the peasant movement and the western UP equation. The peasant movement is a matter of concern to the BJP, whose influence is greater in the West. The BJP leadership is also on high alert over reports of growing closer ties between Jats and Muslims in western UP than ever before.
Trying for east to west
The BJP is also looking at major competition from the SP-BSP in 2022. It remains to be seen to what extent Priyanka’s agility will strengthen the Congress. At the same time, after the death of RLD leader Chaudhry Ajit Singh in the West, the people of the Jat community stood with Jayant. Rakesh Tikait has also spoken out against the government. This could have an impact on the political equations of the West. Not only this, the political roots of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati are in the west rather than the east.
In such a situation, if the BJP has some damage in the West, Purvanchal has the option to replace it. Ratanmani Lal, a senior journalist and political analyst, said that in the current political climate, the BJP has the potential to increase the number of seats in Central and Eastern UP as compared to Western UP. First, there is no strong equation like the Jat and Muslim alliance in Purvanchal and secondly, the peasant movement does not have much influence in the region.
According to him, it is not that there are no Muslims in Purvanchal, the difference is that the Muslims of Eastern UP do not affect the electoral equations economically and politically as compared to the western countries. CM Yogi Adityanath also understands the current political scenario of western UP and Purvanchal. At the Purvanchal Development Board meeting held in February itself, it was said that special attention should be paid to the eastern districts till the elections. Obviously the BJP does not want to give a chance to the opposition to enter the fray.