Almost a year ahead of the next general elections, the BJP’s parliamentary board on Monday morning declared that the party was ready for snap polls.
“The government hasn’t yet sent out any feelers about the monsoon session of Parliament. It is running away from Parliament and the nation. We are in poll mode and are ready for snap polls,” said BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar after the morning meeting, which lasted about two hours.
Subtly, the party also hinted its campaign will be a collective one and not Modi-centric, with the board — which itself comprises senior party leaders — authorising party president Rajnath Singh and the Gujarat chief minister to constitute poll sub-committees.
At the same time, while maintaining that “development” and “good governance” remain their poll planks, party leaders hinted that they are ready for a polarising poll campaign around Modi, whose elevation has been followed by an NDA split and much controversy over the Ishrat Jahan case.
“Polarisation will only benefit us. It will become a battle between national security and support for terrorism,” said a senior BJP leader.
Modi drove to senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi’s residence in the afternoon to discuss the “new Muslim-Buddhist” angle of terror following the Bodh Gaya attack. Senior partymen Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad will visit Bodh Gaya on Tuesday. The Buddhists may be a small community nationally, but the party may have in mind Dalit neo-Buddhists, a vocal group inimical to the BJP.