Prime Minister Narendra Modi has advised his party workers to take lessons both from victory and feat as the BJP prepares for the next round of elections, to be held in five states. The big election will be in Uttar Pradesh — politically the most crucial state in the country, which sends the maximum number of members to parliament and is said to hold the key to the government in Delhi.
“Whether it is defeat or victory, take a lesson from it and start preparing for the coming elections,” PM Modi was quoted as saying by the party’s general secretaries who attended a meeting last evening at the Prime Minister’s official residence.
The last round of election had proved a mixed bag for the BJP. While the party retained Assam and managed to win Puducherry, it missed out on what it perceived as the big prize — Bengal — where it was hoping to come to power with 200 seats.
Mamata Banerjee’s record victory in face of the BJP’s mammoth, well-oiled election machinery and a battery of star campaigners, is seen to have shaken the party’s grassroot workers — a situation the BJP is keen to mend ahead of the next round of elections.
The Prime Minister said the party workers have to be congratulated for the victory in Assam and Puducherry. In Bengal and Tamil Nadu — where the BJP and ally AIADMK lost the election — the strength of the party has increased. The BJP has increased its numbers in Bengal assembly from 3 seats to 77 seats, pointed out party general secretary Bhupendra Yadav.
For the BJP, the next crucial battle will be in Covid-battered Uttar Pradesh. As the virus swept through the rural parts of the state, reducing to dust its tottering healthcare system, dissent broke out within the party, with many MLAs and MPs complaining against the functioning style of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Though the BJP has ruled out any change in the leadership, the Chief Minister has been advised to fill the vacant posts in the cabinet to placate the disgruntled leaders.
The changes though, are yet to happen. Yesterday, the party’s UP in-charge Radha Mohan Singh indicated that the Chief Minister will take the final call.
In four other states it rules, the party faces anti-incumbency. In Uttarakhand, the party did a course correction by replacing the chief minister.
But as the new Chief Minister, Tirath Singh Rawat, embarrassed the party, inviting criticism by his rash, controversial remarks, the BJP is considering going into polls under a joint leadership. It may not project any Chief Ministerial face as it did in Assam in the recent round of polls.
Earlier, yesterday, the party’s general secretaries had a day-long meeting with the party chief JP Nadda, where recent assembly election results were discussed.