Meerut (Uttar Pradesh): After failing to pull crowd in the road show of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah in Meerut on Friday, the saffron party – said sources – has decided to do away all ‘padyatra’ planned for the future and focus on holding rallies instead.
Though the party says Shah stalled his padyatra in Meerut in reverence to a trader who was shot dead by dacoits and four other traders suffered injuries on Thursday night, but the sources reveal that this is not the reality.
“The party has decided to cancel all padyatras to save itself from further embarrassment. Last time, the party president’s roadshow, which was later cancelled, could not draw large crowd for which the local leadership was pulled up. We struggled to get even 20 people,” one local BJP functionary told Janata ka Reporter on the condition of anonymity.
Asked why the state leadership failed to ensure good turnout, he said, “We tried hard to make it (the roadshow) a grand success but failed. People are extremely unhappy with the party because of demonetisation and attempts to disturb the social fabric.”
Angry over holding local leadership responsible and pulling it up by Shah, another senior leader – who wished not to be named – said, “All strategies are framed and implemented by the central leadership and if something goes wrong, we have to bear the burnt. It is disgusting.”
He went on to reveal that he along with another senior leader (without revealing his identity) will quit the party to join Congress once the elections are over.
Few local media reports also suggest that the Shah’s roadshow was cancelled because of the “mood of people that might have created a security threat”.
Reacting to the cancellation of BJP’s planned ‘padyatra‘, senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan mockingly told Janata ka Reporter’s Editor-in-Chief Rifat Jawaid that “organising roadshows that could draw huge crowd was not BJP’s cup of tea. “They have lost the ground,” he added.
The Western Uttar Pradesh, which will go to poll in the first phase on February 11, is crucial region for the BJP where it had fared well in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls due to polarisation of voters.
UP will have seven-phase polling ending March 8.
Shah’s yatra was aimed at galvanising the party cadre and help in making a wave in favour of the BJP in the sugarcane districts of Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura, Hathras, Agra, Firozabad, Etah and Kasganj that are going to poll in the first phase.