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BJP May Replace Half Its Lok Sabha MPs

By Archis Mohan
January 04, 2024 08:54 IST
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Amit Shah wants to increase the party's nationwide vote share by at least 10 per cent from the 37.7 per cent it secured five years ago and ensure above 50 per cent vote share in the states where it came close to that benchmark, but couldn't cross it.

IMAGE: In Ayodhya, December 30, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi lays the foundation stone for multiple development projects worth more than Rs 15,700 crore (Rs 157 billion) in Uttar Pradesh. Photograph: ANI Photo

The Bharatiya Janata Party unveiled its Lok Sabha (election preparedness centred on Hindutva welfarism, delivering upon Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi's 'guarantees' and the fulfilment of the ideal of 'Ram Rajya' with the inauguration of the Ram temple on January 22.

In the weeks ahead, Sangh Parivar cadres will fan nationwide, urging people to celebrate the event.

The Centre is working on expanding the ambit of some of the schemes such as Ayushman Bharat health insurance.

The central leadership has instructed its new chief ministers in the Hindi heartland states to implement the guarantees for women, youth, and farmers within 75 days or before the Election Commission's Model Code of Conduct kicks in by the second week of March.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah exhorted party office bearers to increase the BJP's nationwide vote share by at least 10 per cent from the 37.7 per cent it secured five years ago and ensure above 50 per cent vote share in the states where it came close to that benchmark, but couldn't cross it.

The BJP secured more than 50 per cent of votes in 11 states, including Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Delhi, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Goa and over 49 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and Tripura in 2019.

The party leadership has yet to put a number on its Lok Sabha ambitions but wants to surpass its 2019 tally of 303, equalling Indira Gandhi's 1971 Garibi Hatao triumph of 352 seats and 44 per cent vote share even if it does not have the nationwide footprint to match Rajiv Gandhi's 1984 record of 414 seats.

In 2014, the BJP slogan was 'Abki baar Modi sarkar'.

Five years later, at the fag end of the Lok Sabha campaign, Modi said, 'From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Kamrup, the whole nation is saying 'Abki baar, 300 paar, phir ek baar Modi sarkar'."

In 2019, the BJP contested 436 of 543 seats, forfeiting deposits on 51 seats.

In the next few weeks, the BJP will announce candidates for 160 'weak' seats, including the 133 seats it lost in 2019 and another 30-odd additional seats it plans to contest in states where its allies have exited the National Democratic Alliance, especially Punjab, Bihar and Maharashtra.

Five years ago, the BJP didn't field its candidates on 56 seats across these three states, contesting only three of Punjab's 13, 25 of Maharashtra's 48, and 17 of Bihar's 40 seats.

At the time, ally Shiromani Akali Dal contested 10 seats in Punjab, Janata Dal-Unite) and Lok Janshakti Party battled on 17 and 6, respectively, in Bihar, and the undivided Shiv Sena fielded candidates in 23 in Maharashtra.

The party is also considering replacing at least half of its sitting Lok Sabha Members of Parliament, as it did in 2019.

IMAGE: Modi being welcomed by Bharatiya Janata Party supporters in Ayodhya. Photograph: Kind courtesy BJP/Twitter

From January 1, the Sangh Parivar cadres have been asked to reach out to millions of families with akshat, rice used in puja rituals and offered to the deity, during the week-long celebrations starting from January 16 to the temple's inauguration on January 22, along with booklets on stories of its struggles for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on the site of the Babri mosque.

The BJP workers will enrol beneficiaries of the Centre's schemes as part of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, including through the NaMo App, and send in their suggestions.

Sources said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh cadres and BJP workers will be in a state of constant mobilisation until the Lok Sabha polls, including accomplishing their routine tasks of 'micro-planning', such as fine-tuning polling booth committees.

In addition, they will hold specific 'community conferences' for caste groups, including those that traditionally do not vote for the BJP, particularly Jatavs and Yadavs in UP, and 5,000 meetings for new or first-time voters.

According to a party leader, the BJP's state governments have been asked to push some of its political and welfarist agenda.

The Uttarakhand government, for example, is set to enforce its version of a Uniform Civil Code, which it could do in the new year.

The Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and MP governments have started rolling out 'Modi guarantees', including cooking gas cylinders at Rs 450 each.

The Chhattisgarh government announced that it will fulfil its promise of increasing the minimum support price for paddy by distributing bonuses to farmers.

Rajasthan's BJP government is mulling incorporating the previous Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government's Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme, where it delivered insurance cover of up to Rs 25 lakh, in the Ayushman Bharat, which currently ensures an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh.

A recent parliamentary panel report had its BJP members suggest that Ayushman Bharat should be expanded to provide health insurance coverage to 400 million Indians.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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Archis Mohan
Source: source
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024