Lucknow: A virtually ‘headless’ opposition will attempt to challenge the BJP in the upcoming Assembly bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh.
While the BJP is leaving no stone unturned in its campaign and its top leaders will be campaigning in the eleven constituencies where bye-elections are being held, the top leaders of opposition parties are in no mood to campaign.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, according to sources, will not be campaigning for the bypolls.
“As a matter of rule the Congress high command does not campaign in bypolls,” said former Congress MP Pramod Tiwari.
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi will also not campaign in Uttar Pradesh bye-elections.
Uttar Pradesh also does not figure in the itinerary of Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati’s schedule when she addresses at least eight rallies in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana.
Maharashtra and Haryana are going to polls on October 21, along with 11 seats in Uttar Pradesh.
BSP district coordinators have been asked to take charge of the campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
Party MP Satish Chandra Misra is also unlikely to come for campaigning as he has been made in-charge of Haryana.
Mayawati’s nephew Akash Anand, who has been named the party’s national coordinator, is unlikely to campaign independently. He will be accompanying Mayawati during her campaign.
The Samajwadi Party, meanwhile, has not yet drawn up the programme of its President Akhilesh Yadav.
Sources said that Akhilesh was likely to campaign for the Rampur seat where SP MP Tanzeen Fatima, wife of Mohd Azam Khan, is a candidate. The seat was won by SP in 2017 and the party is confident of retaining the seat in the bye-elections too. Party leaders feel that the sympathy factor will work in favour of the Azam Khan family that is facing a slew of cases.
In most other constituencies, Akhilesh has deputed local leaders to take care of the campaign and ensure the party’s victory.
BJP spokesman Harish Chandra Srivastava, meanwhile, said: “This just goes to prove that the opposition has already conceded defeat in the bye-elections. No election is big or small and it is an insult to the voters to think that bye-elections are small. We take every election with seriousness and our leaders do not shy away from campaigning.”