Deepak Dwivedi & AK Sharma
The spectacular start to the BJP’s national executive meeting, with a roadshow by Prime Minster Narendra Modi, and the tone and tenor of his address on the concluding day gave a clear indication that his goal is much beyond electoral victories. “We have to create history,” PM Modi is reported to have told the twoday gathering of the party brass, on January 16-17 in New Delhi.
In his post-event media briefing, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis informed that PM Modi asked party workers to reach out to every section of society, including those which had not supported the BJP so far.
Unarguably, the BJP is determined to win the nine state Assembly elections in 2023 and the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
However, what PM Modi wants is to get an unprecedented mandate from the people that will overcome all roadblocks to his development-centric agenda. His goal is to build India as a world power during the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Kal’.
The BJP has already increased its presence in the Lok Sabha between 2014 and 2019; by 2024 PM Modi hopes it to capture threefourth seats. He also wants to vastly increase the party’s footprint beyond the 16 states it rules now. In the backdrop of the Prime Minister’s bigger goals, the national executive meeting of the BJP was much more than a stocktaking exercise to prepare for the coming electoral battles.
Apart from the mammoth roadshow meant to galvanise the cadre, the PM motivated party functionaries to stay in tune with the messaging from the top.
The BJP has already demonstrated that it is always battle-ready, keeping itself busy on the ideological and organisational fronts, and dominating at the macro and micro levels.
PM Modi’s charisma
The national executive resolved to keep the party’s political focus intact on the charisma of Modi, while campaigns around new themes, particularly India’s G20 presidency, will be added. Expectedly, the resolutions passed by the national executive and the speeches by senior BJP leaders revolved around PM Modi’s policies and initiatives.
The economic resolution eulogised the policies and the initiatives taken by PM Modi that have taken the country to “a politics of saturation and governance of saturation” and transformed India from “one among the fragile five economies to the fifth largest economy.”
The nine-pint political resolution accused the Opposition of continuously running negative campaigns against the BJP and using “abusive language” to attack PM Modi.
There were many references to the BJP’s spectacular performance in Gujarat, where Modi enabled the party to fight anti-incumbency and retain power for the seventh straight term, equalling the CPM’s record in West Bengal. In fact, in Gujarat, the BJP won 156 seats out of 182, with 52.5 per cent vote share – a feat that no other party has achieved in the state’s electoral history. Clearly, the BJP has decided to follow the Gujarat model where the party heavily cashed PM Modi’s popularity.