BJP identifies 115 seats across 7 states as party’s ‘new catchment areas’ to prepare for 2019 elections

The seats identified are from Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Northeast.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: September 8, 2016 11:15 am
2019 elections, elections 2019, elections, BJP elections, BJP seats, BJP campaign, amit shah, BJP campaign in states, new seats, uttar pradesh elections, odisha seats, bengal seats, nda government, anti-incumbency in Mahararashtra, anti-incumbency haryana, lok sabha, lok sabha seats, narendra modi, tmc, andhra pradesh seats, telangana seats, indian express news, india news, election news BJP president Amit Shah.

Getting the party’s planning for 2019 general elections under way, a core committee meeting chaired by BJP president Amit Shah has identified around 115 seats as the party’s “new catchment area.”

The BJP leadership’s assessment is that the party will not be able to retain many seats in its strongholds, and is thus zooming in on these seats from seven states, where it is trying to emerge as an alternative, sources said.

The seats identified are from Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Northeast. Party leaders with knowledge of the development said BJP general secretaries and secretaries in charge of these state are expected to prepare state-specific strategies and submit them to Shah before October 16.

According to sources, the BJP leadership realises it will be difficult to hold on to the party’s position in many states, especially in the Hindi heartland. “The party has to (thus) work on new states to win seats. The BJP will also have to face anti-incumbency in Mahararashtra and Haryana,” a BJP general secretary said.

In 2014, the BJP-led NDA had won 72 of 80 seats in UP, 42 of 48 in Maharashtra, 31 of 40 in Bihar, all 26 in Gujarat, all 25 in Rajasthan, 25 of 28 in Madhya Pradesh, and seven of 10 in Haryana.

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In contrast, the party won only two of 42 Lok Sabha seats in TMC-ruled West Bengal and one of 21 in BJD-ruled Odisha. Of the southern states, it won only one of 39 in Tamil Nadu, where AIADMK is in power, one seat of 17 in Telangana, and two of 25 seats in Andhra Pradesh, where the BJP is in alliance with the TDP. The BJP does not have a single Lok Sabha MP from Kerala.

Sources said BJP hopes to increase its tally in Odisha and Karnataka — although having won 18 of 28 in Karnataka in 2014, a big rise in numbers is not expected there.

With the focus moving to non-BJP bastions, the Centre too is introducing new initiatives and programmes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already addressed three rallies in Odisha in the last two years. Hoping to reap political mileage in the Northeast, which has 25 Lok Sabha seats, Modi has directed all Union ministers to visit the state at least twice every month.

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  1. Anumakonda Jagadeesh
    Apr 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm
    The BJP is following the same tricks as Congress in the past in gaining power in the states not having hold. There is a proverb: People will fall by their own weight. Mrs. Indira hi ruled for long and toppling non-congress Governments. Sonia hi wanted to see her son Rahul hi as PM. Indian Voters are intelligent. When they could defeat Mrs. Indira hi,they can defeat any body. Moreover the recent By election to states proved ANTI IN BENCY. Having tasted bitter defeat non BJP Parties will form a front in the next Elections. Let BJP Government promote People's policies for prosperity and alround development and solving unemployment especially among youth,then automatically they will come back to power.Slogan Raj should become Action Raj. In a Democracy People(Voters ) are Supreme.People want Government of the people,by the people and for the people. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)
    1. NitinB
      Sep 8, 2016 at 4:10 am
      BJP won 27 out of 29 in Madhya Pradesh. Liz Mathew should work carefully. Had she been working in the Statesman of yore, she would have been sacked by now.
      1. S
        Sep 8, 2016 at 11:02 am
        Dream, istant butcher Amit Shah.
        1. D
          Sep 8, 2016 at 8:05 am
          Liz Mathew is a Christian fundamentalist and you have to be careful when you read their articles. Pretending to be news their job is to provide info to church so that more illegal conversions can happen.
          1. N
            Sep 8, 2016 at 5:48 am
            Looks like the task is uphill for BJP/NDA, but they may still ride back to power as opposition parties are still pathetic with none showing any principled stand on vital issues plaguing the country.
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