Nearly six months after it came to power in Maharashtra and in the face of criticism from allies as well as the Opposition over its performance, the state BJP will hold its first convention at Kolhapur over this weekend from May 23 to May 24.
The convention, which will be inaugurated by party president Amit Shah, will see the party in damage control mode with its top brass going all the way to publicise work done by the party at the Centre in the last year and at the state in the last six months.
Individual state ministers are expected to present their report cards with the party likely to publicise booklets of the decisions taken. Around 3 to 4 state ministers will also give a comprehensive report of the decisions taken at the party convention before the party cadre.
There will be a separate session on the controversial land acquisition bill and farmers issues by senior minister Nitin Gadkari in a bid to defend the party line and change the perception that it is only industry friendly. Gadkari will bring the convention to a formal close.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis along with all state ministers will be present at the two day event. “We have taken many decisions at the Centre as well as the state and this will be communicated to our grass roots cadre and local leaders. For instance, in the last six months we have managed to complete 39 goals listed in our vision document. This is not well known and we want out local leadership to have these talking points,” said party spokesperson Madhav Bhandari.
The state party president Raosaheb Danve told HT that he had asked individual ministers to review important decisions taken over the last six months and present an informal report card on the same at the convention. “This is the first convention after our party came to power so there will be detailed discussion of what we have done so far,” Danve said.
Sources in the party said there was sentiment that the party and the government had not been successful in publicising the extent of the work done in their tenures and this was important in the face of the Opposition’s campaign against it over land acquisition as well as the Shiv Sena’s negative campaign.
This is BJP’s first state convention after the party came to power in October 2014. In the face of questions raised over its performance, the convention is expected to be a grand public relations exercise of the work done by the central government and state since it came to power.
What’s on the cards
* Amit Shah will formally inaugurate the convention, while Union public Works minister Nitin Gadkari will close it. Other senior central ministers expected to be present at the convention include Prakash Javdekar, Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goyal.
* The convention will hold a plenary session that will formally endorse the appointment of Raosaheb Danve as the state party president.
* One of the central ministers will give a detailed overview of work done by the BJP government in the last one year. Three state ministers are expected to give detailed overviews of work done by the state government. Every department of the state will issue a booklet of work done in the last six months.