The seats identified are from Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Northeast, reports Archis Mohan.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s 2014 Lok Sabha success was primarily the result of maximising its strike rate in a handful of states, mostly in north and west regions. Its plan for 2019 polls has factored in the law of diminishing returns catching up with the party in some of these states.
It has identified 100 to 115 Lok Sabha seats across six coastal states and North-eastern states, traditionally its weak areas, that it believes it can win in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The survey, which included demographic analysis, has identified seats in Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Northeastern states. The BJP is enthused by its performance in recent assembly polls in Assam, Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
At the BJP core committee meeting in end-August, Shah held a separate two-hour meeting with state unit leaders of central in-charges of these states. These leaders have been asked to submit a plan of action by October 15 for winning these seats. They have also been asked to hold fortnightly state-level meetings and prepare minutes of these meetings for the party headquarters in New Delhi.
Apart from state leaders, central in-charges were also present at the meeting. These included Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, Kerala’s P Muralidhar Rao, Andhra Pradesh and Bengal in-charge Sidhartha Nath Singh and National Democratic Alliance convenor for Northeastern states Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Sarma, considered the architect of BJP’s assembly poll victory in Assam, has been entrusted with improving NDA’s strike rate in 24 Lok Sabha seats. These states send 188 MPs to the Lok Sabha. In 2014, BJP had won a meagre 14 seats in these six coastal and seven Northeastern states.
The BJP won 282 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats in 2014, the first full majority government since the 1984 elections. Its allies won 54 seats for the total National Democratic Alliance tally at 336 seats. Then, the BJP had secured major victories in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Haryana. It had swept all the seats on offer in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Goa and Himachal Pradesh. It had won most of the seats on offer, along with its allies, in Bihar and Maharashtra.
Image: Supporters of BJP ride a bike with the party's flag during a Narendra Modi road show. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters