BEGINNING ITS three-day state executive, the BJP on Friday told its cadres that the party’s doors were open for state Congress leaders feeling suffocated and that the saffron party was poised to win 60-plus seats if Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh remains its face in the poll, slated for the year end. State BJP president Satpal Satti said, “The BJP is not averse to welcoming any leader, whether one who wants to return to the party or those from other parties, including Congress, shows inkling to accept BJP’s ideology without preconditions.”
He said some Congress leaders were already in touch with the BJP. They (Congress leaders) are feeling suffocated. Few say elections will be fought under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi but the chief minister contradicts, saying he would lead the party to the polls. The BJP is keeping a close watch on the Congress camp.
“ Well, if Virbhadra Singh is projected leader in the polls, BJP’s task will be much easier as he (CM) not only faces corruption and money-laundering cases but had been under attack for perpetrating mafia raj in the state and poor governance. There is a complete collapse of law and order, too. I think the BJP will exceed 60 plus mark.The Congress will end up with eight seats,” Satti told journalists.
After a successful Parivartan Rath Yatra in the state and visits of top party leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, home minister Rajnath Singh and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and extensive touring of party in-charge Mangal Pandey and former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, the BJP seems to have gained ground. Victory in the Shimla Municipal Corporation election has also been a morale booster for the party after the Bhoraj bypoll.
Satti aid the party would see what strategy Congress general secretary Sushil Kumar Shinde brings to the state and how BJP responds. But in any case, fighting and leadership tussle in the Congress have already resulted in the Congress graph plunging into an all-time low. In recent months, two Independents have joined the BJP.