BJP leaders meet in Delhi; state, Lok Sabha polls on agenda

  • Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 23, 2016 15:05 IST
BJP National president Amit Shah being welcomed by Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhayaya as the representative from across the country attend the Meeting of Core Group in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. (Sushil Kumar / HT Photo )

The BJP is stepping up its poll offensive.

Around 350 party leaders from across the country are in Delhi on Tuesday for a day’s session to prepare for the next year’s states elections and the big one in 2019 – the Lok Sabha polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, who led the party to power in the last Lok Sabha elections, are meeting the leaders for a stock-taking exercise and some pep talk.

Half way through its term at the Centre, the BJP leadership feels it is time to prepare for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. But, the next year will be busy too. The country’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh and Modi and Shah’s home state of Gujarat are among those due for assembly elections.

The leaders at Tuesday’s meeting are the core group of the party’s state units and will be leading the charge in assembly and general elections. Shah will deliver the inaugural speech and the Prime Minister will be the last speaker of the day.

In between, separate sessions are planned for states that have been divided into three categories – where the party is in power, where its the principal opposition and third group is of the states where the BJP is a marginal player.

The BJP wants to improve coordination between the government, the party and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, in the 13 states where it is in power or is part of a ruling alliance.

It wants go one better in the states where it is the main opposition party. During the meeting, the leaders are expected to draw plans to win these states. The party will look to expand its reach in the states where it is a bit player.

Improving synergy between the Centre and the party is vital and will be talked about in the meeting.

The party’s sweep of states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in 2014 brought it to power at the Centre. Most of these states have a BJP government and anti-incumbency will be a challenge in 2019.

“Modi government has launched several welfare schemes. It is party’s responsibility as well to monitor and help their implementation. All state units will be told about this,” a BJP office-bearer said.

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