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BJP moves on to mission Assembly

india Updated: May 26, 2019 11:45 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times, Mumbai

In many ways, this initiative is indicative of how the BJP merges its government’s efforts with its organisational structure to reach out to the people. Beyond communication and electoral strategy, it’s the reach of the party’s organisation and administrative programmes that ensured BJP’s win in the state(Hindustan Times)

Barely twelve days after the last phase of general polls in Maharashtra, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held an initiative to review the drought scenario across 139 talukas in 22 districts of the state through a conference- call.

Over six days, he spoke to 27,449 government officials and village-level public representatives, to understand drought-related grievances. The Chief Ministers’ Office (CMO) since then has been tracking whether each of those grievances has been addressed by officials concerned and the district collectorates.

Next week, all BJP legislators, senior functionaries, on the back of a triumphant win in the polls, have been asked to get back to work for the next big poll battle. They will visit drought-prone areas to oversee implementation of government measures and to engage with people.

With 50% of the state reeling under a serious drought, this is the number one priority for the BJP as it faces Assembly polls later this year. In October, sans the Modi factor, the Fadnavis-led government will seek a referendum on its five-year term. While the party’s top brass is now confident of a favourable outcome, they are not taking any chances.

“How else do you think a favourable ‘hawa’ is created ? The party leaders have to take the government’s decisions, they have to be seen on ground,’’ said a senior BJP functionary, who did not want to be named.

In many ways, this initiative is indicative of how the BJP merges its government’s efforts with its organisational structure to reach out to the people. Beyond communication and electoral strategy, it’s the reach of the party’s organisation and administrative programmes that ensured BJP’s win in the state.

At the party’s headquarters, the work to analyse electoral data will also begin next week too.

“Every polling booth will be graded, as per our voting percentage. For instance, A grade will go to booths where for instance, out of 1,000 people, 600 voted and out of this, 60% voted for us. And, then on basis of this data, we can work out a strategy for every constituency, among others,’’ said Sunil Karjatkar, BJP’s general secretary (organisation).

Fadnavis, who will head the poll campaign, has already given a clear indication that saffron allies will contest polls together, by visiting Sena chief Uddhav Thackery’s residence, Matoshree soon after poll results were announced.

Both parties retained their 2014 polls tally this time, and together picked up 50.88% of the state’s vote share. “There is no reason to upset the alliance at this stage. The election at the time of a severe drought and uncertainty of rains cannot be taken for granted. Things (campaign and strategy) will get momentum post the monsoon session of the state legislature,’’ said a senior BJP minister, who did not want to be named.

Despite getting only six Lok Sabha seats in 2014, the Opposition managed to win 83 of the 288 Assembly seats that year.

The party may also go in for an organisational as well as cabinet reshuffle ahead of the next polls.

With the two terms of both the party state president, Raosaheb Danve and city president Ashish Shelar coming to an end, the party may go in for fresh faces. The CM may be pressurised to go in for a cabinet reshuffle, to accommodate senior leaders likely to join the saffron alliance like former leader of Opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, and former NCP minister, Jaydutt Kshirsagar (who joined Sena) besides placating BJP leaders like city chief Ashish Shelar.

However, there is no confirmation on this. And, Fadnavis has avoided a reshuffle for the last two years.

First Published: May 26, 2019 11:45 IST