ALLAHABAD (TIP): The Two-day conclave of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) concluded here Monday, June 13. High on the agenda was a strategy for the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. Of all the States going to polls in 2017, the State of Uttar Pradesh is of the greatest strategic importance for BJP. If the party is able to perform as it did in the Lok Sabha elections, it will contribute greatly to its strength in the Rajya Sabha where as of now the combined opposition is in a position to stall the BJP. Thus, the main thrust of the party leadership has been to strategize for a win in Uttar Pradesh.
Senior Cabinet ministers, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, party MPs and other senior leaders are participating in the conclave.
Sources said PM Modi asked BJP office bearers to take forward what has been achieved. There is a need to constantly innovate in today’s politics. An organization and its working style should change with the political situation, he reportedly said.
Briefing the media in the evening, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the BJP “maintained balance between rural and urban development, reform and public welfare, connection between defense and foreign policy”.
He quoted party chief Amit Shah as saying that the victory in Assam had opened the “gateway to the north east” for the party. Mr. Shah, he said, expressed confidence that the party will return to power in UP in 2017 and at the Centre in 2019 as well.
The party discussed a strategy for Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and four other states – Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa. Om Mathur, PM Modi’s key man in UP, said: “Many issues were discussed at the meet but the main focus was on UP polls due next year.”
Sources in the BJP, however, say a decision on who will be the party’s chief ministerial candidate in the two key states will be taken in due course.
The BJP has brought several new faces to its National Executive — including Himanta Biswa Sarma, who defected from Congress to BJP and played a key role in its big Assam win, and former Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, a new entrant to the party.