The BJP’s hopes of adding Bihar to the growing bouquet of states it rules is set for a strategic fillip with party chief Amit Shah’s arrival on Friday — his first visit to the state after assuming office in July 2014.
The party had, on January 11, set the target of winning 185 of 243 seats in the state assembly polls later this year. Top leaders suggest that during Shah’s two-day visit, he will give shape to what looks like a simple but ‘failsafe’ strategy for the assembly polls.
On January 23, Shah will meet workers at the SK Memorial hall and advise them that if committee members of 60,000 booths can enroll 100 new members each, the party can meet its target of having 75 lakh members by March 31.
“For three days, (February 4-6) booth level workers will conduct a membership drive. If we secure 100 new members at each booth level, it will give the BJP 60 lakh new members,” said a party leader.The 'send an SMS to become member' drive brought in 17 lakh new members in the state, said BJP state chief Mangal Pandey.
“If each member brings in one vote apart from their own, that will count for 1.5 crore votes, ensuring victory,“ said BJP’s Nand Kishore Yadav.
Shah is also slated to address a largely extremely backward caste (EBC) rally on Saturday — organised on the occasion of the birth anniversary of EBC icon former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur. EBC voters are believed to have played a significant role in the NDA’s Lok Sabha poll victory in Bihar.
The party faces a big challenge with the likely coming together of ruling JD(U) and Lalu Prasad-led RJD, with the Congress chipping in. Together, the combined vote share of the three parties in the LS poll, which all three contested separately, worked out to more than 42%, higher than the BJP’s just over 38%. This had enabled the three parties to share six out of 10 assembly seats in the bypolls held last August. That revival, soon after the LS poll debacle, had given a fillip to Janata parivar merger talks which are still underway.