Focus on winning all 9 polls: BJP at party meet | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Focus on winning all 9 polls: BJP at party meet

Jan 17, 2023 12:09 AM IST

The party also held a massive roadshow in the Capital to honour Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership, and to celebrate the party’s historic seventh straight win last year in his home state Gujarat.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda on Monday exhorted the party cadre to pull out all the stops for state elections scheduled for 2023, and set the target of winning all nine assembly polls, according to officials who were part of the deliberations on Day 1 of the two-day BJP national executive meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president JP Nadda.(Jagat Prakash Nadda/Twitter)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president JP Nadda.(Jagat Prakash Nadda/Twitter)

The party also held a massive roadshow in the Capital to honour Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership, and to celebrate the party’s historic seventh straight win last year in his home state Gujarat.

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Addressing the media about Nadda’s speech to the party’s leaders, office-bearers and workers,former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the party president referred to the upcoming state elections as a precursor to the 2024 general elections. Elections will be held in Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. The BJP is in power in five of these states, of which two are a coalition government.Elections may also take place in a 10th region, Jammu & Kashmir, the former state that will go to the polls as a Union territory with an assembly.

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“In his inaugural address, the party president said 2023 is a crucial year for the BJP as it will have to contest elections in nine states. He exhorted the cadre to tighten their belt and ensure that the party does not lose even a single poll. He told the cadre to ensure that the party wins all the assembly polls that are a prelude to the 2024 general elections,” Prasad said.

Nadda is widely expected to get an extension as party president at the national executive meeting, which concludes on Tuesday. Speaking at a news briefing on Monday evening, Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the issue was not discussed on the first day of the meeting.

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The BJP, which won the 2014 general elections and the 2019 general elections with a massive majority, has set itself the target of winning the 2024 polls with an even bigger mandate. In 2014, it rode to power at the Centre with 272 seats and increased the tally to 303 in 2019 in the 543-member Upper House.

To increase its tally and vote share, the party has identified 160 Lok Sabha constituencies where it needs to sharpen outreach to perform better, and is undertaking a massive exercise to strengthen its presence in over one lakh booths across the country.

“Earlier too, following the instruction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party president issued a directive to strengthen the party at 72,000 booths where it is weak. Today, he said the party workers have already covered 1.3 lakh booths. Being a cadre-based party with extensive involvement of people, the PM had asked the party leaders to strengthen the position in the weak booths,” Prasad said.

The BJP, which is currently in power in 12 states either by itself or in coalition, won Gujarat with a record margin in the last round of assembly polls but could not retain power in Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress returned to form the government. The party’s performance in the last round of assembly polls was also alluded to by Nadda in his speech.

“He (Nadda) also spoke on the issue of elections — the victory of BJP in Gujarat is extraordinary and historic. He said the PM in Gujarat led from the front, but we could not change the tradition in HP, but we lost with a margin of less than 1% and the difference in votes between the BJP and the Congress was only 37,000 votes,” Prasad said.

When asked about the specific instructions that the party chief has for poll-bound states, Prasad said that the leadership has asked these states to emulate the work done by the party workers in Gujarat. “In Telangana our workers are striving very hard. He (Nadda) said the way our workers are putting in efforts, we will form government in the state,” Prasad said.

The PM’s roadshow started from Patel Chowk and continued till the NDMC convention centre, with BJP workers and supporters lining the roads of the Capital to greet him. People showered flower petals on Modi, while posters highlighted various initiatives of the government and India’s presidency of the G20 along the route.

BJP leaders noted that Modi had held a roadshow ahead of the party’s national executive in Odisha, and added that the exercise proved to be helpful in galvanising cadre and supporters.

With Lok Sabha polls due in the first half of next year, the enthusiastic roadshow will also help energise the party’s Delhi unit after its loss to the Aam Aadmi Party in the recent municipal polls, they said.

During his briefing, Prasad responded to a question on whether the party chief discussed the issue of BJP’s allies as some parties have quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). “We have not dropped any allies, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Nitish Kumar (of the JDU) left us...” Taking a jibe at the allies that have broken ties with the BJP, notably Kumar, Prasad said, “Those who have switched sides for greener political pastures will be taught a lesson by the people.”

In 2018, the Telugu Desam Party became the first ally to quit the NDA, followed by the Shiv Sena in 2019 and the SAD in 2020. In 2018, the BJP broke ties with the Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu & Kashmir, bringing their coalition government in the then state to a premature end.

The former minister also said that the party that has “addressed the concerns of the marginalised through its policies” will continue to ensure that benefits reach the “last man in the queue”.

“On February 13, a programme on a grand scale will be conducted to celebrate the life of Dayanand Saraswati, who had advocated addressing the concerns of the last man in the queue,” Prasad said.

He added that India’s growing clout internationally, and its improved indices and economic growth, were also referred to in Nadda’s address. “He (Nadda) said India is being appreciated in the context of the five pran (resolves) that PM had underlined in his speech On August 15... Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly applauded the independent foreign policy of India. India has been able to vaccinate people and the biggest accomplishment has been the creation of Kartavya Path on the Rajpath,” he said.

Listing some of the achievements, Nadda said India is now the fifth largest economy of the world, in the world of mobile production it is the second biggest, and third largest in car manufacturing.

“It is a matter of great pride for us that we are ahead of England (the UK) in terms of economic growth. Made in India is progressing; our defence deals are transparent and imports have considerably fallen. Earlier every defence deal had a deal in it ... The Congress defence minister had said in Parliament that we do not want to build roads along the border as it creates tensions, today more than 3,600km of roads are constructed,” Prasad said, quoting Nadda.

According to a senior party leader, the Prime Minister stressed on encouraging people to people contact by organising programmes such as the Kashi Tamil Samagam and appreciated the efforts of the party workers in West Bengal and Telangana. “He appreciated the efforts of Telangana state unit chief Sanjay Bandi who undertook a Praja Sangraam Yatra in the state and said the courage of the BJP workers in Bengal who have withstood violence by the opposition must be appreciated,” the leader said.

The meeting will conclude on Tuesday with PM Modi’s valedictory address.

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