The BJP is steadfastly doing what suits it best to garner more votes. A senior party executive draws a sketchy idea ahead of the election year
Narendra Modi has completed nine years in the prime minister's office. Pic/PTI
The Opposition’s war cry notwithstanding, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is unwavered in doing what suits it best to garner more votes in Maharashtra and across India, as the Lok Sabha polls draw closer. A senior party executive, who wished to be anonymous, has painted a sketchy idea, with an emphasis on the ‘Modi hai to Mumkin Hai’ factor, ahead of the election year. The leader is one of the seniors who participates in decision-making in the BJP. He may not be authorised to decide everything in its finality, but he knows how things work in the BJP, and what could be the party’s action plan. Here are his thoughts on various topics.
Opposition bloc in the making: The anti-BJP parties had tried it in the past, but without any success. However, we won’t ignore their effort this time around as well and keep them under close watch to ensure that they don’t dent us. The response to a call to boycott of the inaugural ceremony of the new Parliament building and the Aam Aadmi Party’s plea for defeating a Delhi-related ordinance shows the fractured opposition. The fractures will multiply and become irreparable as the elections happen, be it Lok Sabha or the states that will go to polls before the general elections. The state Assembly elections taking place after the Lok Sabha, for example Maharashtra, will be no different as far as the results are concerned.
Prime agenda: The opposition may abuse our top leaders, call us out for everything that doesn’t work out for them, and make a mountain out of a molehill whenever there is an opportunity. We have only one agenda as of now: take every government decision to the people, tell the voters what the double engine sarkar has been doing for them and why they must return the governments in the Centre and state. Narendra Modi has completed nine years in the prime minister’s office, and soon the Shinde-Fadnavis sarkar will be a year old. We are aware of what the people, the beneficiaries in particular, think about our governments. The opposition may say anything. The media may show it on television and print it, but it doesn’t make a big impact because only 10 per cent of the voters follow the media. Most people don’t have time to spare for such activities and they stand with Modi and the BJP’s state governments for their people-friendly policies. It happened in the past. It will happen yet again.
Maharashtra, in particular: We expect the Maha Vikas Aghadi to be intact against us only in the Lok Sabha elections. The MVA will fall apart in the Assembly considering the high stakes. We foresee the Congress going solo in the state polls while the Nationalist Congress Party and Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena fighting together. We also don’t see Thackeray as a face that can propel his factions to winning as many seats, be it local body or bigger polls. Eknath Shinde has taken away the faces that Thackeray was to rely on.
Shinde has established leaders in his rank. With Modi at the centre-stage, the BJP has identified a face for each Assembly and Lok Sabha seat. The civic wards will also have good candidates. The BJP isn’t short of organisational strength that percolates down to the booth level. Which other party has such a system that runs smoothly?
Coping with Shinde Sena: Everything is fine between us. They too have the right to exert their strength and demand their share of the seats (this question was raised regarding the Shinde Sena’s demand for contesting 22 Lok Sabha seats). We haven’t decided the seat sharing formula for any elections yet, but we haven’t left any Lok Sabha or Assembly constituency devoid of our own system that will help our mission 2024. The BJP has taken upon itself to help the ally to win, because ultimately it will also help our governments in the Centre and Mumbai.
The preparation: We are building an organisational structure in every segment in all 48 Lok Sabha and 288 Assembly seats. It has been our policy that the party should be prepared enough to contest on its own in each constituency. Such a contingency plan is always in place, and you have seen how it had worked in the past, especially in the 2014 Assembly polls. And don’t forget, we will always have a brand called ‘Narendra Modi’ to fall back on.
Dharmendra Jore is political editor, mid-day. He tweets @dharmendrajore
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