Amit Shah asks BJP leaders to take on scam allegations | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Amit Shah asks BJP leaders to take on scam allegations

Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faces rough weather over various corruption allegations, including the alleged ‘chikki’ scam in Maharashtra, party president Amit Shah tried to downplay their impact on Thursday by asking BJP leaders not to get bogged down, but rather move on from them in a constructive manner.

mumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2015 16:21 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faces rough weather over various corruption allegations, including the alleged ‘chikki’ scam in Maharashtra, party president Amit Shah tried to downplay their impact on Thursday by asking BJP leaders not to get bogged down, but rather move on from them in a constructive manner.

Shah was in Mumbai to address the Mahasampark Abhiyan with party legislators and office bearers from the country’s west zone. He also held separate meetings with the office bearers, legislators and MPs across the regions.

In a direct address to party workers across three states and two union territories — Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Daman-Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli — Shah said the BJP will continue to be in power (from panchayat samitis to the Centre) for a long time and hence the organisation should not pay attention to the Opposition’s claims.

Shah reminded the leaders that in states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the BJP came to power, irrespective of negative campaigns, by just talking about work. He instructed his party leaders to follow the same model in Maharashtra, Haryana as well as Jammu and Kashmir, where the party won power in the last polls.

He stressed it was time to focus on expansion; to come to power by relying on its own strength, without anyone else’s support.
Sources in the BJP said while he did not refer to alliance partner Shiv Sena, the message that the party should look at a future without being curbed by an ally was clear.

“In one of the meetings, Shah pointed out that the party should be better prepared to tackle corruption allegations by the Opposition and should not get distracted by it. Referring to Maharashtra, he said allegations against one minister could affect the entire party and the organisation has failed to counter the claims effectively. At the same time, he also asked party leaders to ignore certain stories being run repeatedly against the party in certain sections of the media,’’ said a party functionary.

The focus of Shah’s address was party expansion by establishing direct contact with each of the newly registered members. In Maharashtra, party workers will now take up a campaign that will reach out to 1.15 crore newly registered members to convert BJP into a cadre-based mass party.

“We were told that if you have direct contact with so many members and talk about the work undertaken by the Centre, negative campaigns will not affect the organisation. The focus from now on will be on having an RSS-like organisation, where every party leader is in charge of a small group of workers, not more than 100, and even less if possible,’’ said a party legislator.

The party’s first session, which was supposed to be open to the media, was changed to a closed-door meeting upon Shah’s instructions. The BJP president’s office in Delhi issued a press release giving a broad outline of what he said at the session.