India

Learn from defeat too: PM Modi to BJP leaders

* Be it victory or defeat, the BJP should assess its performance in detail so that it can prepare for future polls.

* In West Bengal, the party should see how TMC worked its way back to a big victory in the recent Assembly polls after its poor performance in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, when BJP had won 18 of 42 seats in the state.

* The party needs accounts in every regional languages to use social media more effectively.

These are some of the suggestions Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave to BJP general secretaries during Sunday’s meeting, it is learnt. He was addressing the leaders after a two-day stock-taking and review meet of BJP’s performance in the Assembly elections, and its activities under the ‘Seva hi sanghatan’ programme during the pandemic.

In the nearly five-hour meeting at his official residence, Modi gave “several suggestions” as the party gears up for Assembly polls in five states early next year, sources said.

In the just-concluded elections, the BJP-led NDA won in Assam, became the main opposition with 77 seats in West Bengal, is all set to form a coalition government in Puducherry, won four seats in Tamil Nadu, even though it drew a naught in Kerala.

Speaking on Kerala, Modi is learnt to have advised party leaders to shed “rigidity” in forming alliances and bringing non-Hindu communities to BJP’s support base. He said BJP should try and win over the Christian community in the state, as it “does not seem to be having any major issues in joining hands with BJP”, it is learnt. The PM, sources said, suggested that the party should try and take advantage of the “goodwill and influence” the Christian community has in Kerala’s political and social scene.

As for West Bengal, Modi is learnt to have asked party leaders to study how the Trinamool Congress, which had faced a setback in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, worked for its landslide victory in these Assembly polls.

Prep for Covid third wave

Before meeting Modi, BJP leaders held a day-long discussion on the party’s future plans.

Having faced flak for absence of its leaders in the field during the peak of the second wave of Covid-19, BJP is preparing for an anticipated third wave with plans to train 1 lakh health volunteers to operate medical devices and perform essential medical services.

The party took this decision at the meeting of general secretaries and chiefs of different morchas, chaired by BJP president J P Nadda. In the meeting, also attended by leaders in charge of election-bound states, there was a discussion on post-poll violence in West Bengal as well, it was informed.

The meeting, held at Nadda’s residence, was attended by all eight BJP general secretaries, party general secretary (organisation)

B L Santhosh and presidents of its youth, women, farmers’, OBC, SC, ST and minority wings.

BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said: “It was decided that the party will train 1 lakh health volunteers, including giving them technical knowledge to operate ventilators and other essential medical devices.”

Leaders of the affiliated morchas have been asked to focus on promoting government’s initiatives for their respective sections.

For instance, Yadav said, the ST wing of the party was asked to focus on promoting the Centre’s Van Dhan Yojana for tribals. Similarly, kisan morcha will facilitate training of farmers at farmers’ producers organisations, while women’s wing will promote ‘Poshan Abhiyan’, which aims to tackle malnutrition among women.


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