BJP’S National Executive Meet: Preparing for State Elections and the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

BJP’S National Executive Meet: Preparing for State Elections and the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

BJP president J.P. Nadda, addressing the BJP’s national executive meet held in New Delhi over January 16-17,  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 BJP’s victory in all the contests.


Reach out to minorities, marginalised: PM

Later Tuesday, in his address to the BJP national executive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asked party members to reach out to every section of society, including the marginalised and minority communities, ‘without electoral considerations’.

Modi asked party workers to reach out to Pasmandas, Bohras, Muslim professionals and educated Muslims, without expecting votes in return. “The call was mainly to build confidence among these communities,” said a source.

The two-day meeting, convened to discuss the party’s strategy for the upcoming elections, ended Tuesday.

Briefing mediapersons on Modi’s address, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “The Prime Minister said we need to sensitively reach out to all sections of society. He said that while doing so, we don’t need to think of votes only. We need to keep working for all sections of society”.

This is in line with his speech at the BJP national executive in Hyderabad  last July, where Modi had urged the party to reach out to the marginalised among the minorities, such as Pasmanda Muslims, and to find ways to work with the Christian community in Kerala. The BJP had then launched an outreach programme for Pasmanda Muslims in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to ensure that the Centre’s schemes reach them.

Asked about the party’s outreach programmes for Pasmanda Muslims, Fadnavis said: “The Prime Minister said our development journey will not be completed till the marginalised are mainstreamed. He spoke about reaching out to all sections of society and said only 400 days are left for elections, so we must use this time to work for the marginalised sections.”

Modi told party leaders that the BJP is no longer just a political movement, but it is a social movement as well, working to transform socio-economic conditions, said Fadnavis.

Sources said Modi also cautioned the party against any sense of ‘over-confidence' and cited an example of the BJP’s loss in Madhya Pradesh in 1998 despite the unpopularity of the then Congress government led by Digvijaya Singh. Modi was then a key minder of the BJP’s organisational affairs in the state.


Political resolution


Accusing the Opposition of running a negative campaignto damage the Prime Minister personally, the BJP, in its political resolution said the issueswere negated by the legal responseof the Supreme Court.


The Opposition had unleashed a negative campaign which included abusive language and negative tone to damage the Prime Minister personally. The issues went up to the Supreme Court and they were negated by the legal response — be it the Rafale issue, demonetisation, money laundering cases by the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Vista project, or even reservation for the economically weaker section,Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while briefing the media on the political resolution.


The political resolution also lauded Modi for raising Indias prestige at global forums”.


The BJPs national executive met for two days to discuss the partys preparations for the nine state elections coming up this year and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.



Importance of the National Executive

Meetings of the National Executive that is, by and large, held every quarter or four months, are valuable in studying the party, in the opinion of Swapan Dasgupta (journalist and politician).    “This is a tradition that has persisted since 1980 and is complemented by the sessions of the larger National Council, which meets at least once before each general election. The last occasion the National Council met was prior to the 2019 general election and the next one is likely to meet sometime next year as part of the run-up to the 2024 general election.”

As both an observer and a participant, Dasgupta  has  “found these meetings to be invaluable in understanding the party and monitoring its evolution.”

PM Modi, the towering figure: Tracing the history of  meeting of the National Executive,  Dasgupta written  “the dynamics of the party gatherings changed” once the BJP  came in power. “While it was still the occasion for networking at the national level, the key political issues were no longer settled in such a large forum. There were two exceptions, both involving Narendra Modi. At the Goa National Executive in 2002, it was the party that was united in its displeasure of the bid by Prime Minister Vajpayee to remove Modi as chief minister. And in 2013, once again in Goa, the National Executive members made no secret of their desire to see Modi as the prime ministerial candidate.

“Ten years later, this week’s meeting was emphatic that there would be one issue for the 2024 general election: Modi."

The difference PM Modi has made: The difference between Narendra Modi  and earlier prime ministers,  writes political  analyst Tavleen Singh “is that he has encouraged India to dream of becoming a developed country. We may not get there as quickly as he says we will……”

There is still much to be done in education, health, sanitation - clean and abundant drinking water etc, “but Modi needs to be given full credit for giving us the dream of becoming a developed country someday soon. We are not there yet and may not be for a while but at least we are no longer proud of being a poor country…..”

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