‘Have to win all 9 states going to polls’: Nadda at BJP national executive meet

Jan 16, 2023 08:13 PM IST

BJP national president J P Nadda described the upcoming assembly elections in nine states as a precursor to the 2024 general elections

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president, JP Nadda on Monday exhorted the party cadre to pull out all the stops for the forthcoming set of assembly elections and set the target of winning polls in each of the nine states that will pick new assemblies this year.

JP Nadda addressed the BJP’s two-day national executive committee meeting that began in New Delhi on Monday. (Hindustan Times)
JP Nadda addressed the BJP’s two-day national executive committee meeting that began in New Delhi on Monday. (Hindustan Times)

Nadda was delivering the inaugural address at the BJP’s two-day national executive committee meeting that began in New Delhi.

Addressing the media about the party president’s brief, former Union minister and senior BJP leader, Ravi Shankar Prasad said the party boss 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 coalition governments.

“In his inaugural address, the party president said 2023 is a crucial year for the BJP as it will have to contest elections in 9 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 election,” Prasad said.

The BJP, which won the 2014 general elections and the 2019 general elections with a brute 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.

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 had issued a directive to strengthen the party at 72,000 booths where it was weak. Today, he said the party workers have already covered 1.30 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,won Gujarat with a record margin in the last round of assembly polls but could not retain power in Himachal Pradesh. The party’s performance in the last round of assembly polls was also referred to by Nadda.

“He (Nadda) also spoke on the issue of elections - the victory of the 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.

To a question on the specific instruction that the party chief has for poll-bound states, Prasad said the party 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.

Responding to a question on whether the party chief discussed the issue of the BJP’s allies as some parties have quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Prasad said, “We have not dropped any allies, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Nitish Kumar (Janata Dal-United or JD-U) left us.” Taking a jibe at the allies that have broken ties with the BJP, notably Kumar who is now seen to be pitching as the Opposition’s PM candidate, 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 (TDP) 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 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and 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,” Pradsad said. He also said India’s growing clout internationally, 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 or 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 biggest 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 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 3,600 kms of roads are constructed,” Prasad said quoting Nadda.

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    Smriti covers an intersection of politics and governance. Having spent over a decade in journalism, she combines old fashioned leg work with modern story telling tools.

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