A two-day meeting in Delhi organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its national office bearers, functionaries in charge of States and various frontal organisations, and presidents and general secretaries in charge of the organisation in States is being seen as a stock-taking exercise by the party. The Lok Sabha elections are more than a year away but the BJP is anxious to remain battle-ready, always keeping itself busy on the ideological and organisational fronts, and dominating at the macro and micro levels. The meet was to motivate functionaries to stay in tune with the messaging from the top. It resolved to keep the political focus intact on the constituency of welfare recipients, or labharthis in the BJP’s parlance, while campaigns around new themes, particularly India’s G20 presidency, will be added. There was no ideological track in the deliberations that were sharply focused on organisational capacity. The BJP may never have felt as secure as it is today about the public acceptance of its Hindutva ideology. The inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, now scheduled for December 2023, will be the prelude to the 2024 campaign anyway.
Despite occupying a position of strength, the BJP continues to be minutely attentive to organisational matters. Its electoral fortunes are primarily driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal popularity, but its micro management of voter mobilisation is critical too. The BJP does not let its organisational machine rust or rest, and keeps it in a constant state of mobilisation. This week’s meeting decided to enhance the party’s emotional connect with the voters at the family level. BJP workers are being encouraged to deepen their links with voters. This approach appears to be a finetuning of the party’s storied booth management capacity. The party will be facing some crucial Assembly elections in 2023 — in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, where it is in power, and in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, which it wants to wrest back. Indications are that J.P. Nadda, whose term as president ends in January, will remain in charge in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha election. The BJP’s capacity to plan ahead and buttress its ideological agenda with a strong organisational muscle is what sets the party apart from its challengers. Mr. Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah remain constantly engaged with party matters. The BJP has effectively synergised its actions in government and at the party level to give itself the optimal thrust. While this has led to legitimate complaints of a misuse of power, what its opponents could learn from the BJP is the importance of backing ideological clarity with organisational muscle.