BJP to fight 2019 LS elections under Amit Shah, defers internal polls

The Asian Age / PTI

India, Politics

BJP will return to power in 2019 with a bigger majority than 2014, Amit Shah vowed on the first day of the two-day meet.

BJP National President Amit Shah with BJP Delhi President Manoj Tiwari and General Secretary Ram Lal during the inauguration of BJP National Office Bearers Meet, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The BJP has decided to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of its president Amit Shah.

According to reports quoting party sources, BJP has decided to defer internal elections to select a new chief, as Amit Shah's tenure as president ends in January.

The decision was taken at a key BJP meeting on Saturday in the national capital, chaired by Amit Shah.

The BJP will return to power in 2019 with a bigger majority than 2014, Amit Shah vowed on the first day of the two-day meeting, attended by senior leaders and party workers.

In 2014, BJP had won a majority on its own for the first time in its electoral history.

The meeting was convened to discuss the BJP's preparations ahead of elections in four states and the 2019 national election.

A slogan of "Ajey BJP" (Invincible BJP) was adopted at the meeting of the party's national office bearers and also presidents of its state units. They pledged to work for the party's victory in assemply elections in the five states and a decision was taken to give extra emphasis on the elections in Telangana, which is expected to go polls with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The two-day meeting, attended by the central leadership, comes amid signs of unrest among upper castes, BJP's core vote bank, farmers' protests and angst of the SC/ST community.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the meeting the second day on Sunday. The BJP is focusing on highlighting the centre's steps for "social justice" and "economic successes" besides its schemes for the poor.

Significantly, the party has chosen the Ambedkar International Centre, which works to promote the works and ideas of BR Ambedkar, for hosting the meeting.

"There has been an attempt to create confusion regarding SC/ST issue, but that won't cause any impact on 2019 elections", Amit Shah told the office bearers.

The party will have to do a balancing act after Thursday's "Bharat Bandh" as groups claiming to represent the upper casts, after as people of the upper castes, have been protesting the government's decision to restore the stringent provisions of a law on atrocities against tribals, after the Supreme Court had relaxed those.

Senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra has demanded a rethink on the law, which Scheduled castes have claimed is often misused.

The issues of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), passage of key bills -- including the one to restore the original provisions of the law on atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and another that accorded constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) -- in Parliament will also come up for discussion at the national executive meet, the sources said.

This is the first big BJP meet after the death of its stalwart and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The BJP national executive is meeting almost after a year.