With the party taking its poll preparations to the next level to reap the benefits of the initiatives by its government and the groundwork of the organisation in the last eight years, the ruling BJP may expand its team of office-bearers and induct more talking heads to accelerate its preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Sources said BJP national president J P Nadda, who is likely to get a year’s extension at the top post, is expected to appoint more members soon in his team of office-bearers as the party needs more hands to scale up its poll preparatory work. The BJP, keen on getting a clear edge in the perception battle, may also revamp its media team by adding more talking heads, sources said. The new teams are expected to be in by the end of this year.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be pushing the development agenda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will escalate his campaign on the BJP’s nationalist credentials and Nadda will be touring all the states to monitor party’s outreach programmes, including those for the beneficiaries of the BJP-government’s welfare schemes. Shah’s recent visits to the border states and the ban on Popular Front of India, which has been in BJP’s agenda for a long time but could not take it to its logical conclusion, were part of this plan, sources said.
As the party leadership gets “positive feedback” on the recently launched Lok Sabha Pravas programme – under which the Union Ministers visited the 144 constituencies chosen by the party for extra focus as it could not perform well in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls – it wants to reinforce its poll preparations there. Although most of the 40 Union Ministers have successfully completed their tour programme, the party leadership wants to do “the follow-up work” for which the general secretaries and the secretaries who have been given charges of the states would be camping there. “There will be more general secretaries and secretaries who would be given the responsibilities to take the ground work already done by the local party and the Union Ministers during their pravas,” said a source.
The BJP, which expanded exponentially in the last few years and has initiated multiple outreach programmes at the organisational level, need more efficient leaders to monitor the activities right from the booth level to the state level, party leaders said. The party also has to bring up a fresh set of leaders at every level, too. The Lok Sabha Pravas programme is also an attempt to groom the next-generation leaders who can practice the expansion methods the party has been practising in the last eight years, they added.
“The party leaders are particular that only a strong organisation can retain the BJP in power and sustain its growth. So, adding more manpower to the organisation machinery is just a natural step,” said a senior BJP leader when asked about a possible revamp of the organisation. In the recent meetings with Union Ministers and office-bearers, both Shah and Nadda had emphasised on prioritising and strengthening the organisation. The thrust of the message in these meetings was to see that both the government welfare programmes and the vast organisation network are utilised properly – outreach is the key word. In the states where its units are not so effective, the BJP has been heavily relying on the network of its ideological parent, the RSS.