BJP firms up plans for Bihar

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first_imgMembers of the BJP’s core committee for Bihar sat down with the central leadership in New Delhi for the first time since the party joined the Nitish Kumar government, in alliance with the Janata Dal(U), and decided that preparations for the 2019 elections will be done for all 40 Lok Sabha seats in the State. Sources told The Hindu that despite the fact that the party would be fighting in fewer than 40 seats in 2019 in view of the alliance it has with the JD(U), the Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM), the BJP would try and finalise booth management teams for all seats. “This will be a prep for us and for the NDA for the polls. In 2014, after the JD(U) broke off its alliance with us, we fought and won seats we had never won under the old NDA [BJP won 22 seats, the LJP won six and the RLSP won 3 in 2014]. We need to strengthen our organisation to make sure we are able to repeat the performance,” said a senior leader present at the meeting. The decision reflects the fact that the current alliance between the BJP and the JD(U) (which won only two seats in 2014) will not be as before and seat adjustment talks will be informed by organisational muscle in future. Meeting peopleParty president Amit Shah will visit Bihar in November, before which he has asked Ministers in the State government to spend at least two days in a week, Mondays and Tuesdays, in the party office meeting the public at large to keep an ear to the ground. “The meeting was mostly on organisational issues post the new alliance with the Janata Dal (U) and about increasing the party’s footprint in terms of new members, booth level management, etc,” said a senior leader present at the meeting. Apart from Mr. Shah, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, State unit chief Nityanand Rai and senior leader C.P. Thakur were present at the meeting. Significantly, the BJP had conducted a similar enterprise of beefing up its presence at electoral booths in Maharashtra as well, where it was in alliance with the Shiv Sena. The BJP and the Shiv Sena later fought the Assembly polls separately, with a rethink after the BJP formed a government in the State.last_img

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