BJP looks to Goa to revive sagging fortunes
Demoralised after the dismal showing in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hoping to reverse its fortunes with the Goa elections next month.
The mood should be quite upbeat by the time the party's national executive meets in Jaipur June 15-17, say BJP leaders optimistically.
Party vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi admitted that the defeat in Uttar Pradesh was "a subject of major concern" and would come up for discussion at the meeting of the party's highest decision-making body.
If the party does badly in Goa too in the June 2 elections, the leadership may have to do a lot of explaining in the national executive.
Party president Rajnath Singh led a meeting of office bearers on Monday to discuss the future prospects, with elections also due in Gujarat, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh this year.
The BJP feels it should do reasonably well by striking a deal with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, thereby saving it a great deal of embarrassment, conceded a senior party leader.
And to make sure it does well, general secretary Arun Jaitley, who brought good luck to the party in the Punjab elections, has been entrusted with organising the strategy.
Campaigning got off to a high start with opposition leader LK Advani addressing the first public meeting at Azad Maidan in Panjim on Monday.
Campaign in-charge Rajiv Pratap Rudy has also lined up leaders like M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Naqvi, Gopinath Munde and Prakash Javadekar. Besides, television star Smriti Irani and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu would join the Goa campaign soon.
If all goes well, the party would be in a buoyant mood and face the other elections - particularly in Gujarat where it hopes to come back for another five years.
The BJP has reason to despair after the Uttar Pradesh elections, said a political analyst.
The Samajwadi Party lost 100 seats narrowly and there were also 175 seats where it came second. This means that of the 402 seats that went to the polls, BJP was not a runner up in some 300 seats.