Amit Shah’s 95-day countrywide tour to expand BJP footprints will begin this month
The trip is significant as the BJP rules 13 states, shares power in four, and is pushing to broaden its national footprint in regions that are not its traditional strong-points.india Updated: Apr 27, 2017 13:07 IST
BJP president Amit Shah will do a 95-day countrywide tour, starting this month from Jammu and Kashmir and spending at least two days in each state to review the party’s organisational activities.
The trip is significant as the BJP rules 13 states, shares power in four, and is pushing to broaden its national footprint in regions that are not its traditional strong-points.
Spectacular assembly election victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand last month appear to have whetted the BJP chief’s hunger for expanding the party’s footprints from “Kashmir to Kanyakumari”.
He has sought to galvanise the party cadre ahead of the 2019 general elections and better its 2014 tally in the Lok Sabha, where the BJP has the brute strength of 282 parliamentarians.
Shah will spend three days in Jammu and Kashmir in April-end, and he will be in Tamil Nadu — a state where the BJP has negligible presence — between May 10 and 12.
Besides the 95-day tour, he will spend a fortnight to meet the party’s booth-level workers.
Beginning with West Bengal later this month, Shah will hold interactions with party workers in Odisha, Gujarat, Telangana and Lakshadweep.
“Shah will connect with grassroots workers and encourage them to get more active,” a BJP general secretary said.
The itinerary, prepared by a team of senior leaders, will give him an opportunity to get first-hand ground reports necessary to construct his election strategies.
The BJP has grown exponentially, becoming the world’s largest political outfit with more than 11 million members, after Shah took charge in July 2014. A trusted lieutenant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fellow Gujarati Shah is credited with the party’s impressive wins in state polls since the 2014 parliamentary elections.
The BJP decided at its conclave in Odisha this weekend to focus on winning states currently dominated by regional parties.
The party has plans to win 120 Lok Sabha seats — including the Congress strongholds of Amethi and Rae Bareli — that the BJP has never won.
Party functionaries and Union ministers have been given charge to nurture these constituencies. Shah will personally monitor BJP activities in high-profile constituencies.
Prime Minister Modi has cautioned the BJP against repeating the mistakes of party rivals in getting spoiled by power.
He said in his concluding address at conclave on Sunday that his party should be different from those who had been in power in the past. “You should not get overwhelmed by power. Be different.”
Modi did not name the Congress but the hint wasn’t lost as the party has ruled the country for the most part since Independence.
A BJP general secretary said Modi was loud and clear in driving home the message that his party leaders and workers should not indulge in promotion of self-interest, a flaw that overwhelmed the Congress.