BJP’s 2-day national meet from today, demonetisation to dominate the agenda | india-news | Hindustan Times
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BJP’s 2-day national meet from today, demonetisation to dominate the agenda

The BJP top brass will hold brainstorming sessions at its two-day national executive, beginning Friday, even as the party gets ready for a gritty electoral battle in five states – including the politically significant Uttar Pradesh.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2017 10:29 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C, home minister Rajnath Singh (L) and BJP president Amit Shah (R) look on during the BJP's parliamentary committee meeting at Parliament House in New Delhi on December 16, 2016. The two-day meet, presided by BJP president Amit Shah, will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C, home minister Rajnath Singh (L) and BJP president Amit Shah (R) look on during the BJP's parliamentary committee meeting at Parliament House in New Delhi on December 16, 2016. The two-day meet, presided by BJP president Amit Shah, will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.(AFP)

The BJP top brass will hold brainstorming sessions at its two-day national executive, beginning Friday, even as the party gets ready for gritty electoral battles in five states – including the politically significant Uttar Pradesh.

Topping the agenda will be the perception battle that the party needs to win as it goes to the polls in the backdrop of the demonetisation drive, which saw long queues of people waiting to exchange their scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Though the government has been underlining the drive as a ‘surgical strike’ against black money as well as counterfeit notes, the Opposition has spared no opportunity to highlight the inconvenience caused to the common man – besides the slump in trade and the overall economy.

The two-day meet, presided by BJP president Amit Shah, will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. Two resolutions — economic and political — will also be presented.

Read | Note ban effect on vote bank: Why demonetisation is a key issue in 2017 assembly polls

The demonetisation drive will be taken up in the economic resolution. The party has already dubbed the Opposition’s criticism of the move as one against national interest. The economic resolution is also likely to endorse the Centre’s pro-farmer and pro-poor initiatives.

The political resolution will present the recent surgical strikes on militant groups across the border as a manifestation of the government’s muscular policy towards Pakistan, and its intent to fight terror. The move, made in retaliation to the September 18 terror strike at Uri that claimed the lives of 18 soldiers, is expected to earn the Indian armed forces a pat on the back at the meet.

With the assembly elections for Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur starting on February 4, all Union ministers have been deployed to participate in 10 programmes covering 10 districts till March 2017. They have been directed to reach out to their constituents, and explain the reasons behind the government’s decision to scrap old currency notes.

Read | RSS, BJP MPs raise concerns over demonetisation impact on UP polls

As the saffron party fears that the demonetisation drive has alienated its core supporters, the trading community, it is making a concerted effort to placate them with the sops. For instance, the Niti Aayog recently announced an incentive scheme – including a Rs 1 crore prize – to those using digital payment platforms.

The upcoming polls are perceived to be the first real test of the BJP’s popularity, coming close on the heels of the demonetisation drive. They will also depict whether the Opposition’s accusations regarding the government’s alleged failure to tame the price rise and create more jobs have had any effect on the public.