Lucknow: Will the Lok Sabha polls be pre-poned?
That is the million-dollar question.
Political parties in Uttar Pradesh have started preparing for the coming general elections, expected to be pre-poned.
The BJP, BSP, Congress and the Samajwadi Party have geared up.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian National Congress are holding regular conferences and public meetings in different places of the state which sends 80 members to the House of the People.
Samajwadi Party leaders have also enhanced their interaction with the people.
All the political parties have started the process for the selection of candidates.
BJP, which won 71 seats out of the 80 in the last elections, could deny tickets to some of the sitting members. SP has announced some candidates for the LS polls.
Bahujan Samaj Party, which drew a blank in the 2014 polls, is set to launch its canvassing from April 14, the birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar. BSP is yet to announce any candidate but party president Mayawati has started the process, party sources confirmed.
BJP was holding several meetings to woo the youths in different parts of the state.
UP BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak, who was attending party consultations in Jhansi, said on Monday that the party was going ahead smoothly with its preparation for the Lok Sabha polls.
" We are in no hurry as the BJP was well ahead in its preparation in comparison to other political parties in the state," he said.
Pathak said that the announcement of the candidates would be done as required.
On the other hand, UP Congress was holding 'Kisan yatra' to woo the farmers a la the Gujarat elections.
Congress spokesperson Virendra Madan said the Congress party was the only alternative to the BJP in the state and people are well aware of it.
" The failures of the Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath governments will give us an edge in the coming Lok Sabha polls, which is expected to be held in November this year," he added.
Samajwadi Party has decided to field its general secretary Ramgopal Yadav from Sambhal constituency in the coming polls.Presently, he is leader of the party in Rajya Sabha and his term ends in 2020 November.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav had also announced that his father Mulayam Singh Yadav will contest from Mainpuri.
The BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress have made no announcements for the polls yet. This is also an indication of Akhilesh Yadav's advance preparations for the polls after suffering a nightmare during the 2017 Assembly poll.
In 2004 Lok Sabha poll, Ramgopal Yadav had won the election from Sambhal seat as Samajwadi Party candidate. However, in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Satyapal Singh of the BJP won the seat defeating Samajwadi Party candidate Shafiqur Rahman Burq.
Sambhal seat is considered safe for Samajwadi Party because of the overwhelming number of Yadav and Muslim voters in the constituency. Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh had contested from Sambhal seat in 1998 and 1999 Lok Sabha poll and won on both occasion.
A senior SP leader said that drawing lessons from 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2017 Assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party wanted to set its house in order and send clear signal to the electorate about firming up its traditional social coalition of Yadav and Muslims. The SP has already initiated the process of inviting applications from prospective candidates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav has announced that he would contest the next Lok Sabha election from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat. Presently Akhilesh' wife, Dimple Yadav is the sitting MP from Kannauj. In 2014, Dimple had defeated the nearest BJP rival by just 20,000 votes.
On the other hand, Akhilesh has represented Kannauj thrice in Lok Sabha before relinquishing the seat after becoming Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2012.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam Singh had contested from Azamgarh and Mainpuri and won from both. He retained Azamgarh to strengthen the party in eastern UP and vacated Mainpuri. His grandson Tej Pratap Yadav later won the Mainpuri bypoll.
SP has five members in Lok Sabha—all from the Yadav clan. While Mainpuri and Kannauj are traditional SP seats, Ferozabad is held by Akshay Yadav (Ram Gopal Yadav's son), Azamgarh by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Budaun by Dharmendra Yadav (Mulayam's nephew). UNI