In a departure from its previous approach, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to focus on garnering support from Muslim voters in the lead-up to the 2024 general elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP). Historically, the party had refrained from fielding Muslim candidates in both the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections in UP, as well as the assembly polls of 2017 and 2022.
BJP's 'Mission Modi Mitra'
However, with an eye on winning all 80 Lok Sabha (LS) seats in UP, the BJP has devised "Mission Modi Mitra" to actively engage with the minority community. As part of this mission, the party aims to recruit 5000 Muslim party volunteers, known as "Modi Mitras," in each of the 80 parliamentary segments across UP. The overall goal is to enroll four lakh Muslim Modi Mitras in the state.
To achieve this, the BJP's minority wing in UP has appointed 400 in-charges who will spearhead a special mass contact drive. These in-charges will ensure the observance of International Yoga Day on June 21 in approximately 900 Madrasas throughout UP. Members of the BJP's minority cell, accompanied by Sufi sect members, will visit Madrasas to interact with Muslims and inform them about the welfare schemes introduced by the Modi government.
Muslim voters hold sway in 25 seats
A senior BJP leader in UP highlighted the significance of Muslim voters, particularly in the western part of the state, where they hold sway in 25 seats. The party will place special emphasis on this region, as Muslim voters play a decisive role in the outcome of seats such as Meerut, Amroha, Bijnore, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, and Nagina. The BJP aims to make significant strides in these areas through its outreach program.
Ashraf Saifi, the Chairman of the UP Minority Commission and a senior BJP leader, pointed out that the party had already given tickets to members of the Muslim community in the recent urban local body elections. Many of them emerged victorious, indicating that Muslims are no longer hesitant to vote for the BJP. The party is now actively reaching out to Muslim doctors, engineers, and intellectuals, and plans to collaborate with Muslim religious leaders for the success of Mission Modi Mitra. Sufi conventions will also be organized in various locations across UP.
As part of the mass contact program, the BJP is distributing one lakh printed booklets containing Prime Minister Modi's speeches from the "Mann Ki Baat" program to the Muslim community in UP. The party's comprehensive efforts are set to continue until June 30.