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Centre’s J&K move will bear fruit in state polls, feels BJP

However, Shah underlined that neither the Lok Sabha election victory nor the increased popularity of the BJP after the decision to revoke Article 370 should make party leaders overconfident in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Delhi, which are scheduled to go to the polls this year

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: August 21, 2019 12:27:28 pm
amit shah meeting on jammu kashmir, ajit doval meets amit shah on kashmir, amit shah jammu kashmir meeting, Jammu and Kashmir special status, Article 370, Indian Express Home Minister Amit Shah. (Express photo by Renuka Puri/File)

Asking party leaders to cash in on public support for the Central government’s move to scrap special status for Jammu and Kashmir in the upcoming Assembly elections in several states, BJP president Amit Shah is learnt to have asked senior leaders against being “overconfident” about the party’s prospects.

At a meeting with core group leaders of the poll-bound states on Tuesday, Shah had “detailed discussions” on the party machinery’s preparations, working on the weak points, and ways to maximise its strength on ground in each state, according to a source.

But, the source added, he also underlined that neither the spectacular Lok Sabha election victory nor the increased popularity of the BJP leadership after the government’s decision to revoke special status for J&K should make party leaders overconfident about victory in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Delhi, which are scheduled to go to the polls over the next few months.

Read | After 11-day Kashmir visit, NSA Ajit Doval briefs Amit Shah on ground situation

Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Narendra Singh Tomar, the party’s elections in-charge for Delhi and Haryana, respectively, and party general secretaries Saroj Pandey, Bhupender Yadav, Anil Jain and vice-president Om Mathur were among those who attended Tuesday’s meeting. BJP working president J P Nadda and general secretary (organisation) B L Santosh were also present.

Yadav and Mathur are elections in-charge for Maharashtra and Jharkhand, respectively; Pandey is in charge of Maharashtra and Jain takes care of organisation affairs in Haryana.

According to sources, party leaders have assessed that the Lok Sabha election victory and the government’s performance in the first 75 days have brightened the BJP’s prospects. Besides, there is the crumbling state of the Opposition across states.


Party’s assessment for states

The BJP leaders have assessed that Delhi, the only state where it is not in power among the poll-bound states, and Haryana could give the party maximum advantage for scrapping of special status of J&K. The party, though, feels it has to work on the weak points in these states. The growing anger against the ruling party among tribals has to be handled in Jharkhand, and the Dalit community in Haryana has to be taken care of, party leaders are learnt to have concluded.

“But these factors have also made some BJP leaders in these states a little overconfident, which can be close to being complacent,” a party leader said. “The party president has conveyed that the leaders should ensure that the respective state units do not fall for that.”

Sources said state leaderships have also been advised to properly “evaluate” those who want to join the BJP from rival parties.

According to BJP general secretary and Haryana in-charge Anil Jain, public support for the Centre’s “bold move” on J&K will yield “very positive results” for the party. “This will add to other positive factors. While the BJP gained 47 seats from its earlier position of four seats in Haryana with Narendra Modi’s image (in 2014 state elections), with Amit Shah’s strategy and party leaders’ execution of that strategy, this time we have many advantages,” he said.

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