New Delhi : The RSS leadership has identified four issues that the Bhartiya Janata Party will have to tackle to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in a 5-day long closed-door brainstorming session of the BJP’s central and state organising general secretaries that concluded in the Surajkund holiday resort near Delhi on Monday. All these organising general secretaries are basically borrowed by the BJP from the RSS to run its show.
Topping the issues is the opposition parties’ concerted effort for a united fight against the BJP that can effectively block its victory march as the party automatically gains only if there is split of the opposition votes.
A message sent out to Prime Minister Modi through BJP President Amit Shah is to give more say to the alliance partners in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with more ministerial berths to them to overcome the way the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) deserted it in the last Parliament session.
First and foremost necessity underlined was to win back the Shiv Sena that is threatening to contest the elections independently. Sources say the Shiv Sena is bargaining for the seat adjustment both in the Lok Sabha and the Maharashtra Assembly elections.
The second party that may get one or two positions in the union ministry is Janata Dal(U) which took BJP into its coalition government in Bihar but without induction of anyone from its side so far. Some other allies may also get positions in the union ministry to have a strong alliance taking on the opposition alliance, the sources said.
The agrarian crisis was identified as the second big challenge to the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections this year end in the party-ruled Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and also in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In fact, it was taken up as the first issue for discussion since the party has been losing most of the by-elections in the rural areas because of the farmers’ anger.
Noting how the Congress had gained from the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the 2009 elections, the meeting suggested that it should be explored to provide some relief to the small farmers who are otherwise idle after sowing and up to the time of the harvesting.
Sources say Prime Minister Modi also brought up this issue and formed a committee of seven chief ministers headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh to study how to use MGNREGA to increase the income of the farmers. Though the committee includes two CMs from the opposition – Mamta Bannerjee and N Chandrababu Naidu, the idea is to defuse the farmers’ anger by helping them increase their income.
Another issue that has been a cause of worry is the growing perception being fueled by the opposition parties that the BJP is anti-Dalit through a systematic campaign. A decision was taken to launch a counter campaign on the round to expose the people who are conspiring to paint the BJP as as anti-Dalit.