With eyes on 2017 polls, BJP pushes for stronger party structure in Punjab
The BJP, the coalition partner of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab, has hinted at its intention to contest the 2017 assembly polls on its own.“Strong party structure paves way for a strong government and now our focus is on Punjab where we want to strengthen party’s base,” said BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is also the in-charge of party’s national mass contact programme.
“To contest alone or jointly with the SAD is the decision of the state unit of the party or the national leadership,” said Vijayvargiya, a minister in Madhya Pradesh cabinet holding environment and urban local bodies portfolio. He is expected to resign from the MP cabinet and focus on party affairs.
Vijayvargiya is here to supervise the membership drive of party’s Punjab unit that has added more than 23 lakh members. “Now we have to consolidate these members,” he said.
On Sunday, Vijayvargiya supervised meetings with the newly made members in various constituencies.
In all 117 constituencies, 16,000 active members have been selected who would further play a key role in the elections. The BJP plans to draw out a strategy to reach out to primary members and also voters.“We are the largest political party internationally with 11 crore members across the nation,” he said.
Opium cultivated in MP not sent to Punjab
Kailash Vijayvargiya, an MP minister, said opium was cultivated in the state in a controlled manner by issuing licenses. “However, it’s not being exported to states such as Punjab illicitly,” he said. Vijayvargiya was reacting to the claims of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal that drugs such as opium and poppy husk were not cultivated in Punjab but come to the state illegally from other states.“Our party is against the illicit drug trade, we have same policy across the country,” said Vijayvargiya.
BJP to take up the issue of shifting of convicted terrorists with SAD
BJP’s Punjab president Kamal Sharma said the party would take up the issue of shifting of convicted terrorists to Punjab jails with the SAD soon. “We weren’t taken into confidence before Devinderpal Singh Bhullar and Gurdeep Singh Khera were shifted to Amritsar. We will highlight the issue during the SAD-BJP coordination committee meeting,” said Sharma.