New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the leaders of BJP’s Central Election Committee (CEC) held separate meetings with party leaders from poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on August 16, during which strategy to strengthen the party on weaker Assembly seats was discussed in detail.
According to sources, the BJP has identified 125 “vulnerable” constituencies in Madhya Pradesh and 27 in Chhattisgarh, where the party is in a “weaker position”. The BJP has divided these seats into four categories — A, B, C and D — on the basis of the probability of victory in Assembly elections.
The seats on which the party has a higher chance to win or is in a fight have been placed under A and B categories. Whereas in the C and D categories, those seats have been included where the party has won the previous election with a very small margin or where it has never won an election.
The party is considering the seats included in C and D categories as a challenge for itself and the CEC meeting was called to prepare a strategy to win the elections on these “weak seats”.
Of 125 weak seats in Madhya Pradesh, 103 are those on which the BJP lost in the 2018 Assembly elections while the remaining 22 are those, where the party’s victory margin was very small. Similarly, of 27 weak seats in Chhattisgarh, five are those on which the BJP has never won while the remaining 22 are those, where the party’s victory margin was very small.
In the meetings, leaders discussed the issues which are more effective in these weak seats and can be raised at the local level to make a strong connection with the voters. Sources said that the party could finalize probable candidates on these weak seats soon, and would instruct them to get involved in the field with the help of senior leaders.
The CEC meetings, chaired by party President J P Nadda, were attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, and BJP National General Secretary (Organization) B L Santhosh, among others.
Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav, who is the party’s state election in-charge of Madhya Pradesh and Om Prakash Mathur, the party’s in-charge of Chhattisgarh were also present in meetings related to their respective states.
In general, the party’s CEC meeting is called to discuss the names of the probable candidates for the Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Such meetings are usually called only after the election dates are announced by the Election Commission. However, sources said that the party is in no mood to take any risk in poll-bound states and this was the reason why CEC meetings were organized before the formal announcement of elections.
Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana are to be held by the end of the year.
The BJP has already started preparations in advance, taking lessons from the results of the 2018 elections, so that by the time election schedules are announced, the party candidates would have a lead over the candidates of rival parties.