Party to cash in on Vajpayee charisma.
New Delhi: With Assembly elections in key states fast approaching and the Lok Sabha polls just around the corner, the BJP’s national executive will hold a crucial two-day meet from Saturday where the saffron party leadership is likely to fine-tune its strategy on how to woo dalits and OBCs without upsetting its core upper caste votebank, and also highlight the Narendra Modi government’s steps for “social justice” and “economic successes”.
Facing the Opposition’s heat over recent arrests of alleged “urban Naxals” over the Bhima-Koregaon incident and the upward swing of petrol prices, the BJP will also try to give a final shape to its poll strategy for the three party-ruled states — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — where anti-incumbency and a resurgent Opposition is troubling the saffron party’s poll managers. The BJP has also decided that it will lean on the mass appeal and charisma of its tallest leader, the late Atal Behari Vajpayee, to reach out to the electorate, with the BJP saying the meeting will be “Atalmayi”. The meeting, earlier scheduled for last month, had to be postponed after the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on August 16.
The meeting venue — Ambedkar International Centre — is itself an indication of the party’s aggressive outreach to dalits and to mark the event as “Sadaev Atal” (Forever Atal) as the national executive is meeting for the first time after the late party patriarch’s demise. The BJP, sources said, could also come out with a slogan for its members/cadres for the coming electoral battles.
BJP president Amit Shah will deliver the presidential address on Saturday while Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give the valedictory speech on Sunday. The national executive is also likely to respond to concerns over the rise in oil prices and refer to the previous UPA government’s “mismanagement of the economy”. The meeting will also pass a resolution on the achievements of the BJP and the Narendra Modi government. Issues, including the NRC, key laws, including restoring the original provisions of the SC/ST Act and giving constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes, will be highlighted. However, the party leadership will also discuss ways to pacify its core votebank, the upper castes, who are miffed over the BJP’s aggressive outreach to dalits and OBCs.
The hike in the minimum support price for a number of farm produce and the rise in economic growth in the last quarter to 8.2 per cent will also find a mention, besides the ongoing “Gram Swaraj” campaign to cover the poor with a host of welfare programmes, in the resolution.