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In preparation to the Assembly elections scheduled later this year, the Gujarat BJP will focus on seats where the party lost or won with a thin margin in the previous elections, sources said.
The decision was taken at a two-day Chintan Shivir of the Gujarat BJP that concluded at a private golf club on the Bavla-Nalsarovar road in Ahmedabad district on Monday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel and party state president CR Paatil attended the conclave along with a select group of around 35-40 party leaders, including party general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh, Gujarat co-incharge Sudhir Gupta aand party’s general secretary (organisation) in Gujarat Ratnakar. Former CM Vijay Rupani and former Deputy CM Nitin Patel were also present.
Addressing a press conference after the Shivir, party general secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela said that the meeting was organised to lay foundation for a “huge victory” in the 2022 assembly elections and later in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Without divulging the details of the discussions and decisions taken, Vaghela said, “An unprecedented victory is certain (in the assembly elections) for the BJP.”
Party sources said that the Gujarat BJP has been quite wary of the rise of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) in the state and the increased frequency of visits of its national convener Arvind Kejriwal to the state. Asked if BJP considers AAP as a challenge in Gujarat, Vaghela said that after 2017 elections, BJP has won nine assembly by-elections and all the local bodies.
“Our strength is the hard work of our workers. And we have full confidence in the power of our workers. And so, we do not dwelve into estimating any other opposition party’s power,” Vaghela said.
Education Minister and spokesperson of Gujarat government Jitu Vaghani who also addressed the press conference said that detailed discussions were held on earlier assembly elections. He added that discussions were also held on making the party stronger on assembly seats where it fared weak in checking “false propaganda” spread by the opposition.
Vaghani said that upcoming assembly elections will be fought under the collective leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.
Both the leaders parried questions related to the number of seats the party is targetting for the assembly elections while saying that it will win by huge and unprecedented margin. Party state president Paatil has given a target of winning all 182 seats in the assembly elections. Vaghani said that the party workers will make all efforts to achieve the target given by the national as well as state leadership.
Vaghani said that there was no discussion on estranged Congress leader Hardik Patel who recently expressed his unhappiness in public with Congress state leadership. Since then speculations are doing rounds about him joining the BJP.
Without naming anybody, a party release on the Shivir stated, “We have to keep in mind that people having socio-political nuisance do not harm Gujarat.”
A party release said that Amit Shah provided special guidance in the election-oriented Chintan Shivir.
Quoting Shah, the release stated: “BJP has achieved results that seemed impossible under adverse and difficult situation since 1990. The elections of 2022 are not about victory or defeat. If these elections were of any other state, it would have remained limited to that state. But Gujarat elections get attached to ideology.”
Gujarat incharge and Union Minister Bhupender Yadav was scheduled to attend the Shivir, but could not do so owing to other preoccupations.
Sources said the party’s state executive meeting will now meet shortly in which action plan will be finalised as per the discussions held in the Chintan Shivir.
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