The chief ministers of 15 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states will meet in New Delhi for a day-long brainstorming session on August 28 to discuss the political situation and the party’s strategy for the next parliamentary elections, two senior BJP leaders said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will address the chief ministers and review the progress of assignments given to them at a similar meeting on February 28, one of the leaders said on condition of anonymity. “This will be a 10-hour long exercise in which each state will be reviewed.”
This could be last such conclave of chief ministers before the national elections next year.
The BJP rules on its own in 15 states and has deputy chief ministers and shares power in four other states.
The BJP’s national executive committee is also meeting in New Delhi on August 18 and 19 to review organisational preparedness for the elections in four states later this year and the national elections.
“The chief ministers have been asked to submit a detailed report on the ‘to-do’ list that Shah shared with them during his visit to the states recently,” the second leader said, asking not to be identified.
Shah visited most states in June and July for a stock-taking exercise before the parliamentary elections.
The second leader said the chief ministers have been asked to submit a block-wise list of the beneficiaries of the Centre’s welfare schemes. The BJP claims about 220 million people have benefitted from the schemes.
The Centre launched Gram Swaraj Abhiyan on April 14 to maximize the coverage of seven flagship schemes of the Modi government such as free LPG cylinders for families below the poverty line. The second leg of the campaign was launched on June 1 and ends on August 15.
“We plan to reach out to each of them (the beneficiaries) seeking their support in the next election,” the first leader said. “If we are able to secure their support, we will win the next election with a greater margin than 2014.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party secured a clear majority on its own in 2014, winning 282 Lok Sabha seats and polling about 170 million votes.
The second leader added that the party is in the process of setting up a central command centre in Delhi from where it will monitor its outreach exercise to the beneficiaries of the central government schemes.