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Don’t ignore organisational responsibilities, Shah tells BJP Ministers

At brainstorming session, senior leaders ask party members to cover all ground in the 144-seat target campaign ahead of 2024 polls

September 07, 2022 03:07 am | Updated 10:08 am IST - NEW DELHI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah with BJP national president J.P. Nadda during a meeting of senior party leaders for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, at BJP Headquarters in New Delhi on September 6, 2022.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah with BJP national president J.P. Nadda during a meeting of senior party leaders for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, at BJP Headquarters in New Delhi on September 6, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda on Tuesday told senior leaders and Ministers serving in the Narendra Modi government to not ignore organisational work of the party, as part of the BJP’s preparation for the 2024 General Elections.

The party top brass had identified 144 seats that the BJP had either stood second or third in, in the 2019 polls, and had tasked Ministers and other members to set a target of winning these seats.

At a brainstorming session held at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi, Mr. Nadda and Mr. Shah met with Ministers in the Modi government, many of whom had been given a cluster of three to four of these 144 seats to visit and prepare a report on organisational readiness. The second part of the pravaas (tour programme) will be held between October and January, said sources.

Ministers made presentations at the meeting, which lasted nearly three hours. Many of them shared that not all the seats could be visited as there were travel compulsions on governmental assignments. Mr. Shah insisted that the Ministers complete the assessment process, and “not ignore organisational work.”

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Ministers Bhupendra Yadav, Giriraj Singh, Gajendra Shekhawat , Smriti Irani and Parshottam Rupala were among those who attended the meeting.

A Minister present at the meeting said that Mr. Shah emphasised that while the BJP had an immense advantage with the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “the party had to back him up with a well oiled party organisation.”

“It was a clear message that the party’s work cannot be ignored,” a source said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wide appeal cannot be utilised fully if the party lacks in organisational strength, Mr. Shah said in the closed-door meeting, sources added.

Leaders were also asked to stay in touch with party workers right down to the booth level, sources said. Ministers had visited various constituencies in different States. Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar had visited Thiruvananthapuram, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had visited some seats in West Bengal and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited some seats in Telangana.

In fact, the target of 144 seats is a repeat of what Mr. Shah had undertaken in 2017 when he had held the post of party president. In the run up to the 2019 elections, he had identified 115 seats where the party had posted a good performance but could not convert it to victory. A similar organisational push had been given to those seats then and the BJP won over 80 out of the 115 seats in 2019. The BJP is hoping that early preparations may see a good result in the 144 seats now selected.

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