As it prepares for the 2022 elections in five states, the Bharatiya Janata Party will be working in parallel to strengthen the organisational set-up and augment political activity in states where polls are still some time away, senior leaders aware of the details said on Sunday. The issue of focusing on party-building came up for discussion at the national executive committee meeting held in the Capital on November 7.
Officials said the leadership has identified Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, where the BJP is in opposition, for intensifying their party activities and building the cadre strength. A similar approach will be taken in states where bypolls were recently conducted, including West Bengal, Rajasthan and Karnataka.
While Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand will go to the polls in early 2022, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will elect new governments in the second half of the year. Elections are not due in Rajasthan and Karnataka till 2023 and in Andhra Pradesh till 2024.
“The emphasis is on preparedness. The party has set itself targets for expansion, and for that to happen it will need to be strong at the grassroots. It was from (Amit) Shah’s term as president that the party workers across states have been asked to contest the panchayat and urban body elections with as much vigour as the general elections,” said a senior party functionary on condition of anonymity.
Party president JP Nadda set an outline for the workers to complete the task of setting up booth committees in one million-plus polling stations across the country by December 25 and have in place an in-charge for establishing contact with voters in each of the constituencies by April 2022.
Briefing media persons after the NEC meeting, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said while the party’s growth in West Bengal barely has a parallel in Indian political history, the BJP has identified “many challenges” ahead. “We will review the past and draw up the plans for Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Telangana, the party has already made an impact. In Kerala, the party will expose the politics of appeasement of the government,” he said.
The outcome of the by-polls in Karnataka, where the party lost the Hanagal seat in chief minister Basavaraj Bommai’s home turf and the loss of second place in Rajasthan pushed for a reset in these states. “The recent by-poll results were cited to build the case for not dropping the ball on keeping up party activities whether it is as an opposition in a state or to undertake Seva activities. The idea is to have a mechanism that functions 24×7,” said the leader quoted above.