Sources said party president Nitin Gadkari has asked Joshi, with the backing of the RSS, to work in UP. With 80 Lok Sabha constituencies, UP is politically the most important state for any political party. Sources said Joshi was travelling across the state quite similar to what he did before the UP Assembly elections.
After the party performed poorly in the Assembly elections, Joshi kept interacting with party workers to find out reasons behind the party’s debacle. Later, he was kept away from the BJP national executive, allegedly under the pressure of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. A fortnight after that, the party had also dissociated him from UP. However, hoardings in Joshi’s support had surfaced in Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Lucknow.
Joshi admitted that he was working for the party in UP but refused to discuss the purpose of his tours. Party sources said Joshi, in the past three months, has visited many important Lok Sabha constituencies in UP, including Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Fatehpur, Gorakhpur, Moradabad, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Agra, Meerut, Khalilabad, Aligarh and Pilibhit.
“Joshi questions party workers about BJP’s prospects in different Lok Sabha constituencies. He asks about the local caste equations and winning chances of candidates of other parties including the SP, BSP and Congress,” said a party leader. Popularity of BJP leaders, anti-incumbency against sitting MPs and names of possible candidates are other queries of Joshi. On Saturday, he was in Allahabad to attend a community wedding programme organised by “Ati Pichda Warg Vikas Manch” run by a BJP leader there. Earlier, he had attended various programmes in Lucknow and Rae Bareli organised by Jagruk Matdata Manch, an organisation run by RSS activists.