LUCKNOW: The BJP has activated its network of ‘vistaraks’ – a full-time functionary who works as an extended arm of the party organisation – in the 14 Lok Sabha seats which the saffron outfit lost in the 2019 general elections, it is learnt.
The move, perceived as one of the key strategic steps, will allow the BJP to get independent feedback on the ground-level political scenario before it ramps up its poll preparedness for the 2024 LS elections.
The development comes close on the heels of BJP’s “vistarak” meet in Hyderabad where the party leaders stressed on strengthening the grassroots network, primarily the mandal and booth levels. Nationally, the BJP has identified 144 such Lok Sabha seats where it finished second. Of the 14 such seats in UP, 10 are with the BSP, three with the Samajwadi Party and one with the Congress.
A senior BJP leader associated with the exercise said that activating the “vistarak” network has been crucial for BJP before every election. “This provides the much-needed feedback on the areas where the party needs to work,” said a UP BJP leader. BJP sources said that the ‘vistaraks’ have been assigned the task of forming booth-level “activists” to lend an additional push to the organisational system and bolster the party’s public outreach.
BJP’s move to deploy a network of “vistaraks” comes months after it deputed state party leaders for the 14 seats. UP BJP general secretary Amar Pal Maurya has been appointed as the state convener and tasked to coordinate with the party leaders on these seats.
Besides this, a host of Central leaders have also been given responsibilities of these seats.
The BJP also looks to tread cautiously on some of the few other seats which it won in 2019. Despite winning them in the by-polls, the BJP considers Azamgarh and Rampur as the constituencies which need consistent focus. The seats which the party leadership considers as “troubled” areas include Pilibhit where BJP MP Varun Gandhi has been upping the ante against his own government since 2021. BJP leaders, not surprisingly, remain tight-lipped over Varun’s fate in 2024.
Likewise, the BJP is learnt to be keeping a close watch on Kaiserganj and Ballia represented by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Virendra Singh Mast, respectively – both of them have been showing signs of defiance, much to the embarrassment of the party.





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