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BJP brass to ministers: Strengthen organisation for success in 2024

In another exercise, the BJP had appointed a three-member panel to work on the 73,000 booths across the country for strengthening hold in some, and to gain ground in others it has not been able to win so far.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah with BJP National President JP Nadda during a meeting of senior party leaders for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in New Delhi. (PTI)

With the first round of Union ministers’ visits to the chosen 144 constituencies that the party had lost in the 2019 election almost complete, BJP leadership has set a new target for the next Lok Sabha election and reminded the ministers that “organisation should be their priority and without strengthening the organisation, the party will not be repeating its success”, said sources.

Pointing out that the party could win more than 60 per cent of the target it had set for the tough seats ahead of the 2019 election, the BJP leadership urged its Union ministers to see that “strike rate is higher” this time. In this mission, the BJP had identified 144 constituencies in the southern and eastern states and several Union ministers were given the task to spend at least 48 hours in each constituency assigned and prepare reports in a bid to find the route to victory by frequently visiting them. The ministers were expected to see how the central-run programmes are implemented in these states, take feedback from the local units on the rolling out of these schemes and find out the challenges they are facing in the process of implementation.

On Tuesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is supervising the exercise of the ministers, national president J P Nadda and general secretary (organisation) B L Santosh attended a meeting where a presentation was made on the basis of the feedback the party received from the ministers during their visits in the last three months. In the meeting, Shah said that only if the organisation is strong, the party will be able to take advantage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity. “He said there is no party if the organisation is weak. So, the ministers have been strictly asked to work on it,” said a source.

Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju, Giriraj Singh and other senior BJP leaders during a party meeting with BJP National President JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah (PTI)

The decision to identify 144 constituencies was taken after the meeting of PM Modi with his council of ministers in May. Modi has called his council of ministers for another round of meeting on Wednesday.

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The second phase of ‘pravas’ will begin in October, sources said.

With the BJP’s election strategy focussing on the governance record, the party has decided to convene another meeting of chief ministers and deputy chief ministers by mid-October “for a stock taking on the implementation of the schemes”.

Although the ministers were expected to wind up their travels and give the report before August 31, some of them could not meet the target. But Nadda said they can complete the process in September, sources said.

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Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhupendra Yadav, Smriti Irani, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Anurag Thakur were among the ministers who were assigned constituencies for “strengthening the party from the ground level”. The 144 constituencies – mainly in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala where the party could not win many seats – were divided into different clusters and the ministers were given charge of one cluster each. They have done a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of the party’s position in these seats and identified steps to improve its electoral prospects.

In another exercise, the party had appointed a three-member panel to work on the 73,000 booths across the country for strengthening hold in some, and to gain ground in others it has not been able to win so far. The panel has almost completed their visits to these booths and is expected to submit a report to the leadership later this month.

Known for its meticulous election preparation much in advance, the BJP had identified around 115 constituencies as “new catchment area” in 2016 that the party had never been able to win, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The party had then worked in those constituencies in six states — Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala — and the Northeast. The BJP had then improved its position in Odisha,West Bengal and the Northeast in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In Odisha, the party won eight seats, and bagged 18 from West Bengal. The party had only one of the 21 seats from Odisha and two of the 42 from West Bengal in the 16th Lok Sabha. In Telangana, it increased its tally from one to four in the last election.

First published on: 07-09-2022 at 06:55:56 am
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