The Bharatiya Janata Party, an outfit known for its knack for electoral preparedness, is leaving nothing to chance as it embarks upon its mission to conquer the Lok Sabha elections less than two years from now. Through a multi-pronged approach, the BJP is hoping to make gains in states where it has been traditionally strong and make inroads where it has failed to make a mark so far.
Broadly, the party’s top brass, in its interaction with ministers, has emphasised that while working towards increasing its footprint in constituencies where it did not fare well in the last elections was important, strengthening it at the organisation level will be crucial in deciding if it can win the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
On Tuesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is supervising the exercise of the ministers, conveyed just that at the meeting he attended with BJP president J P Nadda and general secretary (organisation) B L Santosh. The Indian Express, citing a source who was present at the meeting, quoted Shah as telling the ministers part of the exercise that BJP will only be able to capitalise on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi if the organisation is strong,
“He (Shah) said there is no party if the organisation is weak. So, the ministers have been strictly asked to work on it,” IE quoted the source as saying.
In May this year, the BJP leadership had assigned the task of assessing the ground situation in 144 Lok Sabha constituencies it failed to win to Union ministers.
The ministers were asked to spend at least 48 hours in these constituencies, and interact with party workers and beneficiaries of government welfare schemes to gather feedback from the ground and boost the party’s prospects. The decision to identify these 144 LS seats was taken by PM Modi, who is expected to chair a meeting of his council of ministers for another round on Wednesday.
As the first round of this exercise, monitored by Shah, nearing completion, the BJP leadership now wants the ministers to prioritise on strengthening the organisation ahead of the 2024 elections.
The 144 constituencies identified were mainly in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. These seats were then divided into different clusters and the ministers were given charge of one cluster each. The ministers involved in this exercise were Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhupendra Yadav, Smriti Irani, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Anurag Thakur.
In a separate 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. The panel has almost completed their visits to these booths and is expected to submit a report to the leadership later this month, reports The Indian Express.