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Will outdo 2014 election tally next year under PM Modi’s leadership, say BJP chief ministers after meeting

Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said there was no discussion on alliances or any manifesto for 2019, and that the focus was on implementation of central schemes.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2018 10:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
BJP CM meeting,BJP chief ministers,Bharatiya Janata Party
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) with Bharatiya Janata Party leaders during the party’s Chief Ministers Council meeting in New Delhi, on Tuesday. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has resolved to achieve a mandate bigger than its record tally in 2014 in the 2019 elections, and under the leadership of Narendra Modi, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said on Tuesday after an interaction between Prime Minister Modi, party president Amit Shah and BJP chief ministers at the party headquarters.

“2019 mein sabhi ko saath le kar aage badhenge (we will move ahead by taking everyone along in 2019),” Singh said at a press conference after Modi addressed 14 CMs (excluding Manohar Parrikar) of states the BJP governs on its own (there are two others that it governs through alliances). The BJP secured 282 seats, its highest ever, and the most by any party in three decades, in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

Singh added that there was no discussion on alliances or any manifesto for 2019, and that the focus was on implementation of central schemes. “The Opposition has not be able to finalise its leader. They will not be able to finalise it until the next elections. There is no vacancy for the prime minister’s post. We have resolved to return to power with a greater majority,” he said.

The conclave discussed in detail the political situation in the three poll-bound states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh (all governed by the BJP).

PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah offered “valuable suggestions” to the respective chief ministers, said Singh, who was accompanied by Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu and BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav at the press conference.

Shah spoke about the Centre’s decision to increase minimum support prices (MSP) to ensure 50% profit to farmers over the cost of production, fulfil the long pending demand for a constitutional status to the OBC (other backward classes) commission and a bill to protect the right of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and said different sections of the society were directly impacted by these decisions.

Farmers, many suffering from the results of an agrarian crisis mainly caused by bumper harvests and falling prices, people from the SCs and STs, who have politically mobilised in recent years to counter oppression, and other backward classes or OBCs are all key voter groups.

The BJP threw its weight behind the national register of citizens (NRC) in Assam, reiterating its commitment to deal with the menace of infiltrations from Bangladesh and other countries. Singh said the national citizenship bill will also protect the rights of the persecuted Hindus who are religious minorities in neighbouring countries.

Modi and Shah also took stock of the executive of the Centre’s welfare schemes, such as free LPG connection for poor families, in different states and sought suggestions for improvement in its implementation.

“The task to make country open defecation free, provide electricity connections to all households, and to give housing facilities and LPG cylinders are big assignments that the Modi government has taken. We discussed measures to improve their implementation,” Singh said.

Referring to Ayushman Bharat, popularly called Modicare, Singh said the Centre has announced a health coverage scheme for 500 million people and that the chief ministers and the PM discussed preparedness for its rollout. “The PM sought to know from the chief minister about the readiness of the state government, the availability of infrastructure and other such aspects about the Aayushman Bharat scheme,” he added.

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 23:50 IST