Amit Shah to chair meeting to review BJP’s loss in 3 states

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah will chair a meeting at party headquarters in Delhi on Thursday to discuss the defeat in recently held assembly elections in five states and to plan the agenda for the 2019 General Elections.

Before that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak to the BJP MPs at the weekly parliamentary party meeting in the Parliament complex. The BJP is also expected to hold a meeting of its national council in the Capital in the second week of January, when 2,000 party leaders from across the country will assemble to discuss the national elections.

“The meetings were decided before the results of the assembly elections came in,” said a BJP office-bearer who asked not to be named. But, he added, the outcome of the assembly elections in the five states — particularly the three in the Hindi heartland that were under the BJP’s rule — will feature in the discussions as the party prepares for Modi’s re-election bid.

The BJP functionaries said that the party’s national office bearers, state unit presidents, in-charges of the different states and some others invitees will attend the meeting called by Shah in New Delhi to take stock of the preparedness for the Lok Sabha polls expected in April-May.

A second office-bearer said the results have exposed the limitation of BJP’s organisation in states where it is in power.

“We ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years, but addressing farm distress, creating more jobs, and dealing with a more aggressive Congress are big challenges confronting the party,” he said.

The leader added that Shah will seek feedback about the ground situation in other states, and each state unit has been asked to give a report on organisational activities, political challenges, and future programmes.

Sidharth Mishra, president of the Center for Reforms, Development and Justice said “ The Tuesday results have shown that success, or defeat, of any party in an election does not depend on how a party is organisationally prepared. There are other critical issues that the BJP needs to address. Such a meeting can be an occasion for Amit Shah to do some honest introspection. Or else such an exercise will be futile,” he said.

The Congress dismissed the BJP’s plan of action. “It is not a case of organisational failure but a policy failure…governance is not just governing but like a good doctor, you need to feel the pulse of the people. You cannot substitute it with propaganda,” said Congress leader Tom Vadakkan.

The grand old party registered a resounding victory over the BJP in Chhattisgarh and with the help of independent candidates, garnered the numbers to form the government in Rajasthan after having prevailed in 99 out of the 200 assembly seats.

Following a nerve-wracking finish in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress emerged as the single largest party with 114 elected candidates as opposed to their rival’s 109 and roped in seven legislators from BSP (2), SP (1) and independent candidates (4), to cross the halfway mark.

In Telangana, however, K Chandrashekar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has left behind the Congress-Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) alliance. In Mizoram, the regional dominant party Mizo National Front (MNF) has made the Congress lick the dust. In a House of 40 members, MNF won 26 seats, Congress five and BJP one.