Wary of the counterattack launched by the opposition, and criticism from its own troublesome ally, the Shiv Sena, the BJP top brass is looking to use its two-day state convention in Kolhapur, which kicked off on Saturday, to respond to its critics and set its house in order.
Sources told HT that the sentiment in the party was that although the Maharashtra government had done well in the past six months, it had not been as successful at publicising its achievements to the masses.
“We think that on issues such as land acquisition and farmers, our party leaders were apprehensive and couldn’t defend the party well. Also, there are rumours that the state government is a divided house, which have to be quelled,” said a senior party functionary, who did not wish to be named.
To achieve this, party leaders went all out to reiterate the achievements of the central and state governments, and passed two resolutions lauding their initiatives.
The party published six-month work reviews, the PM’s speech on land acquisition, and the CM’s Assembly speeches, and handed copies of these to party workers to use as talking points.
“Some political parties and a section of the media are creating misconceptions against the Modi government. But we have done nothing to embarrass you,” Shah said in his address.
He pointed out that the state government had set aside a Rs7,000-crore package for farmers, comparing it to the Rs8,500 crore handed out by the Congress-NCP government in all their 15 years in power.
The state BJP president Raosaheb Danve alleged that the government’s compensation to farmers had been disbursed to district banks, but that the payments to farmers were being delayed as the banks are “controlled by Congress and NCP”.
Sources in the party said that the top brass was keen to ensure that the state BJP remained united, with civic elections in Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli, Nasik and Pune coming up in the next two years.