Mission Uttar Pradesh: Why BJP wants Jitin Prasada

With the UP election lower than a 12 months away, the BJP poaches a outstanding Brahmin face from the Congress to woo the influential neighborhood. Jitin Prasada and his T-20 have been a part of the Congress’s Mission UP

Jitin Prasada (L) joins BJP in presence of Piyush Goyal at BJP offfice in New Delhi, on June 9, 2021; Photo by Chandradeep Kumar

On the morning of June 9, when Congress chief Jitin Prasada visited Union house minister Amit Shah at his residence with Union minister Piyush Goyal, there was little doubt in anybody’s thoughts in regards to the function of his go to. The younger chief had made up his thoughts to leap ship and be a part of the saffron celebration.
The 47-year-old Prasada had been sulking within the Congress for the previous two and a half years. He had, the truth is, determined to stop the celebration and be a part of the BJP earlier than the 2019 common elections. Two calls at the moment prevented him from doing so; the primary from Jyotiraditya Scindia and the second from Priyanka Gandhi. Today, Scindia is already within the BJP. And for the previous two days, Prasada has saved his cell switched off to keep away from getting calls from the Gandhi siblings.
He is first from the G-23—the group of Congress leaders who requested for organisational change and elections to the publish of celebration chief—to exit. And as Uttar Pradesh goes to election in lower than a 12 months, being a Brahmin face, Prasada will are available in helpful for the BJP to woo the influential Brahmin neighborhood within the state. Brahmins account for 10 per cent of the voters in UP, and are dominant within the jap and central elements of the state. Deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma’s attain, because the celebration has found, is proscribed to capital Lucknow and round, although two different parliamentarians–Sudhanshu Trivedi and Harish Dwivedi—have been extra profitable in increasing their respective attain. Prasada is anticipated to fill this hole. A 3rd-generation Congressman, Prasada is anticipated to contest the forthcoming meeting ballot in UP from pocket borough Shahjahanpur.

Prasada, who fought and gained the 2004 and 2009 common elections from UP, was the minister of state for metal within the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) authorities. He was a part of Rahul Gandhi’s coterie, and extra lately, a vital adjunct in Priyanka Gandhi’s ‘Mission Uttar Pradesh’. It was at his behest that Priyanka was making an attempt to consolidate the Brahmin vote within the state. Prasada had floated the Brahmin Chetana Parishad in October final 12 months, and recognized a staff of 20 people in every of UP’s 75 districts, known as the T-20, to supply authorized help to Brahmins. In the previous 9 months, he was capable of construct groups in a number of districts between Bareilly and Banaras, utilizing NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) and Youth Congress cadre.

Now, Prasada’s complete staff is merging with the BJP. With the Congress slipping right into a distant fourth place within the state, Prasada’s intention had been to reinforce the Congress’s grassroots cadre. However, Priyanka’s staff rapidly disowned the Brahmin Chetana Parishad and native leaders began ridiculing it as Prasada’s non-public discussion board. In 2017, the Congress had tried to woo the Brahmins by declaring former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit because the face of the celebration. But the dearth of cadre and celebration infrastructure on floor led the transfer to backfire.

Meanwhile, the BJP is setting its personal home so as earlier than elections on this essential state. A reshuffle within the state organisation and authorities is anticipated by July. Also anticipated across the similar time is an expansion-cum-reshuffle within the Union cupboard. Post that, the cadre is anticipated to affix the electoral battle to retain the nation’s largest state. And Prasada’s entry is anticipated to assist the BJP enhance its equation within the state.

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