Lucknow: The ruling BJP is finding it hard to win a dozen parliamentary seats in Western Uttar Pradesh, despite setting a target of a clean sweep in the Lok Sabha elections. Of these, six seats in Moradabad division of West UP have been considered the most difficult ones by the BJP strategists.
With this in mind, Home Minister Amit Shah and party national president JP Nadda are set to start extensive campaigning from June 29 to enthuse workers to strive to ensure win for the BJP in Moradabad, Bijnor, Amroha, Rampur, Nagina and Sambhal. The BJP could not win even a single seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. It bagged Rampur in the by-election later, but the party may find it hard to win the seat in the 2024 General Election.
BJP's 2022 performance
BJP’s performance in the 2022 Assembly poll here was also not satisfactory and it lost most seats to SP and RLD. There are a large proportion of Muslim and Jat voters in most of the seats in the Moradabad division, according to senior BJP leaders. Muslim voters support the SP, while the RLD has good influence among the Jat community, they said. With the RLD and SP forging an electoral alliance, the BJP will find it tough to win seats here.Muslims and Jats together account for 45 per cent of the votes in Amroha, Rampur, Moradabad, Sambhal and Bijnor while Nagina is a reserved constituency, political analyst Ashish Awasthi said. He said firebrand Dalit leader of western Uttar Pradesh, Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, has joined hands with the SP-RLD alliance and might contest from Nagina in the 2024 election.
The BJP has started holding conventions of the Pasmanda Samaj (backward Muslim community) in these areas to make inroads among Muslim voters. It has activated the minority cell of the party in this region and Muslim leaders such as Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaj Hussain have been roped in to woo voters. The party also effected a shift in its strategy and nominated a few Muslim candidates in this region in the recent urban body elections. Some Muslim candidates might also be nominated in the 2024 election, according to state BJP leaders.