BJP president J.P. Nadda emphasised the importance of the electoral calendar for 2023, with nine Assembly elections due and their importance for the upcoming General Election in 2024, asking the party organisation to ensure the BJP’s victory in all the contests.
Mr. Nadda was addressing the BJP’s national executive meet being held in New Delhi over January 16-17. Former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, briefing the media on Mr. Nadda’s presidential address to the closed door meeting of the national executive, said that Mr. Nadda exhorted party leaders to make all efforts to ensure that the BJP does not lose in any of the nine State polls to be held this year.
Nearly 350 leaders from across the country are in the executive, ranging from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and other senior members from various States. Mr. Modi arrived at the national executive meet in Central Delhi after a road show organised by the party to mark the BJP’s massive victory in Gujarat.
Mr. Nadda, in whose home State of Himachal Pradesh the BJP lost polls recently, said the party “has to work to bring it to power in the States where it is in opposition and to make the States, where it is in power, its impregnable fort.”
States going to polls this year are Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya, Karnataka followed by Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana.
In his nearly 45-minute address, Mr. Nadda highlighted the representation to Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the BJP governments in States and the Centre, besides in constitutional positions like Governor.
“The party is getting votes of the Backward Classes, SCs and STs and is giving them representation. This shows our resolve of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Prayas,” he said, giving credit to Mr. Modi for the party’s expanding voter base. “India has become the world’s fifth-largest economy, second-largest manufacturer of mobile phones, third-largest manufacturer in the auto sector while the length of highway being built every day has risen to 37 km from 12 km earlier,” he said.
The country had also worked to empower the poor with a number of welfare schemes, including distribution of free grains, he added.
Mr. Nadda praised the party’s win in the recent Gujarat Assembly polls as “extraordinary and historic”, and called upon State units and other leaders to emulate the Gujarat unit and Mr. Modi’s “untiring efforts” to strengthen the organisation. While the party lost in Himachal Pradesh to the Congress, the vote gap between the two parties was less than one per cent, he said.
While the Ram temple construction was in full swing, the government had also worked to rejuvenate India’s rich cultural and religious traditions. India’s success in COVID vaccination campaign received applaud globally, he said.
The BJP had also been working to strengthen itself and reached out to 1.3 lakh booths against the target of 72,000, which it had identified to boost its presence, he said.
The party would also commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of social reformer and Arya Samaj founder Dayananda Saraswati in a big way, he said, asserting Mr. Modi had worked following his ideals to empower the most deprived people in society.