Under fire for the absence of its leaders on the ground during the second wave of the pandemic, the BJP on Saturday took stock of its activities and decided to re-energise its cadres ahead of the five Assembly elections, coming up early next year, in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa.
After the day-long meeting, BJP president J P Nadda and General Secretary (Organisation) B L Santhosh met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources said the meeting was to brief the Prime Minister about the “stock taking”.
The assessment — in which party general secretaries and leaders in charge of the poll-bound states discussed the party’s activities under the ‘Seva hi Sangathan’ programme — came in the wake of PM Modi asking the party leadership to urge the workers to pull up their socks to be visible on the ground and counter the criticism against the government, sources said.
The BJP leadership also held meetings with the heads of various morchas of the party to assess the performance of their respective wings.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that the BJP may finally reconstitute its apex decision-making body — the parliamentary board. Currently with eight members, it has four vacancies, left by M Venkaiah Naidu when he became the Vice President, and by late party leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar.
At the meeting, the party leaders also assessed the BJP’s performance in the recently-held elections in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. BJP’s failure in winning majority in Bengal was attributed to the “consolidation of Muslim votes in favour of the TMC” and to the “transfer of Congress-Left votes to TMC”, sources said.
BJP sources said the leaders will discuss the party’s strategies for the days ahead and for preparations for the key elections next year.
“In the meetings, the general secretaries and those in charge of the five states explained the activities of the party during the pandemic…the activities were reviewed. Each of them gave a report on the states they are in charge of,” said a party leader. “The shortcomings and the failures also came up for discussion,” added a party leader.
“Although there were some glitches in the first few days, the party has picked up its activities at the ground soon. While the party had planned to reach out to one lakh villages, its workers could cover 1.5 lakh villages,” said a leader who attended the meeting.
With the Covid curve falling, the next focus of the party would be the vaccination programme, sources said.