Most former north Indian Congress leaders had also joined the BJP.
Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are trying to woo north Indian voters in Mumbai, but political observers believe the former is going to get the support of the community in Lok Sabha constituencies in the city.
The saffron party has given posts and ministerial berths to north Indian leaders in various organisations and the party. Most former north Indian Congress leaders had also joined the BJP.
Former Maharashtra Congress general secretary Jaiprakash Singh, who is now a BJP leader, said, “We are apprising our community members of how north Indians had been treated during the 10-year Congress-NCP regime. In the last five years, the BJP has given north Indians position in the Cabinet, corporations and legislative council.”
During the run-up to the Lok Sabha election, the Congress had sacked Sanjay Nirupam from the post of city president and appointed Milind Deora in his place. Similarly, former Mumbai Congress chief and north Indian leader Kripashankar Singh had not been given extension in 2012 owing to the defeat in BMC election. The move had been considered disrespect to north Indians, forcing Congress leaders from the community such as Rajhans Singh, Thakur Ramesh Singh to join the BJP, which had accepted them wholeheartedly.
Senior journalist and political observer Omprakash Tiwari observed, “In the last 40 years in Mumbai, north Indian voters have been supporting the party that is strong at the Centre, be it the BJP or Congress. This time, the BJP is at the Centre as well as in Uttar Pradesh. Hence, north Indian voters will extend their support to the saffron alliance in the city.”
As soon as the BJP formed the government in the state in 2014, it had given a berth to Vidya Thakur, a north Indian leader. In 2016, the party had also nominated R.N. Singh, president of the Uttar Bharatiya Sangh, one of the oldest recognised organisations of north Indians in the city, for the legislative council.
Mumbai BJP general secretary Amarjeet Mishra has been appointed as vice-president of FilmCity in December 2018. Recently, Sanjay Upadhyay, presently BJP state secretary, has been recommended as the vice-president of Maharashtra Housing Development Corporation (Maha Housing).