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BJP President Amit Shah’s social twist to BJP membership drive

Shah exuded confidence and said the BJP will be in power for 10-20 years.

Written by P Vaidyanathan Iyer , Liz Mathew | Bangalore |
Updated: April 4, 2015 8:56:38 am
amit shah, bjp, bjp national executive meet, bjp bangalore meet, bjp bangalore, narendra modi, amit shah bjp, bjp membership drive, bjp news Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah during the inauguration of the two day National Executive Meeting in Bangalore on Friday. (Source: PTI)

Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to transform the party’s membership drive into a social movement, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday told the party national executive to adopt four campaigns — removing the manual scavenging profession, Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao, Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange.

On the inaugural day of the BJP’s two-day national executive, Shah, who has reportedly been criticised for his style of functioning by a section of the party leaders, exuded confidence and said the BJP will be in power for 10-20 years. At the same time, he reminded the party functionaries — around 300 of them chosen by Shah himself — that it is their responsibility to “end the jungle raj” and bring the BJP to power with a clear majority in Bihar, where polls are due later this year.

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While Modi, in his address to office bearers on Thursday, heaped praises on Shah, the party president lauded the BJP government’s performance in the last 10 months. Addressing BJP functionaries, Shah said that the BJP-led government has changed the political atmosphere from scams to welfare programmes. “A new political culture has been evolved. So the party’s focus should remain on Dalits, backward communities and farmers. The government has succeeded in protecting the interests of the rural poor,” Shah said.

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According to party leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, the party chief urged BJP leaders to convert their political activities into social work. Armed with a data bank of 17 crore voters and 9.24 crore members, the BJP will now focus on its weaker states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa, Assam, Tripura and West Bengal — Shah said.

“In some states where the BJP did not get enough votes, the response to the membership campaign has been very good. For example, in Kerala, the BJP got 1.4 million votes but the membership has crossed 1.9 million,” Javadekar said, briefing reporters on Shah’s inaugural address. Shah urged party workers to take the membership drive to the next level. “A training programme will focus on converting around 15 lakh members into political activists,” Javadekar said. Shah has already appointed a committee headed by general secretary P Muralidhar Rao for the training program.

The party president urged workers to contact 2.3 million manual scavengers across the country, chalk out a rehabilitation programme and enable them to benefit from various welfare schemes of the government. In the backdrop of its leaders coming under fire for their “insensitive” remarks, Shah announced that the party should sensitise men on gender issues with slogan ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’. The workers have also been asked to focus on PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign as well as the Namami Gange scheme. With the government struggling to evolve a consensus on the controversial Land Acquisition Bill, Shah asked party workers to campaign in its favour.

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First published on: 04-04-2015 at 02:15:28 am
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