BJP President Amit Shah will meet chief ministers of states ruled by the party on April 23 in Delhi, according to a PTI report. With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Shah is likely to discuss the implementation of its governance agenda in the BJP-ruled states. Notably, assembly elections are due in Gujarat and Karnataka later this year and in early 2018 respectively. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has time to time pitched for ‘good governance’. The meeting will be crucial as BJP seeks to continue its momentum following its resounding success in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly elections.
It has been learned that all 13 chief ministers will be present in the national capital to take part in the Niti Aayog meeting, as per the report. The Chief Ministers are also scheduled to meet PM Narendra Modi, who has convened a meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council on the same day to deliberate on the 15-year road map for development. The council, with all chief ministers on board, will also discuss 3-year action plan and 7-year development strategies. The policy-making body had been mandated to come up with a 15-year vision document for a period up to 2030, which will be co-terminus with sustainable development goals, the PTI report said.
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Meanwhile, BJP has decided to tread cautiously on the Supreme Court verdict on the Babri Masjid demolition. It has asking its leaders to downplay its import in public, PTI report says. Shah’s direction to Union minister Uma Bharti, who along with veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, will now be prosecuted by the CBI for criminal conspiracy, to cancel her trip to Ayodhya hours after she announced it is a case in point, a party leader said.
BJP was also quick to dismiss reports that Shah had spoken to Advani. Union minister Arun Jaitley had said that the case has been going on since 1993 and that no new situation has arisen. “So the situation which was prevailing will continue,” he had told reporters. He had also virtually ruled out resignation of Bharti from the government following the court order and described as “hypothetical” the possibility of the ruling having any bearing in selection of candidates for presidential and vice presidential polls.
Under PM Modi and Shah, the party has shown its adeptness in blending its cultural agenda with that of development and has reaped rich harvest, most notably in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. While it has not much to lose, the situation is different for Joshi and Advani, the latter in a twist of irony seeing his political future being dealt a body blow by an issue which made him a Hindutva icon in 90s as he led his party to an unprecedented electoral high before Modi bettered it in 2014, the PTI report said.
The two former party presidents, who are now out of the organisation’s decision-making bodies and are members of ‘margdarshak mandal’ which has never met, have so far maintained a silence over the verdict. They had met day before yesterday and are believed to have discussed the political and legal implications of the issue.
(With agency inputs)