Beleaguered BJP looks up to RSS for help

Last Updated 14 December 2018, 19:39 IST

The BJP leadership has realised that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's profligate Jan Ashirvad Yatra on a multi-purpose chariot has fallen way short of achieving its objective of galvanising party workers.

Now, the beleaguered party leadership is looking up to the RSS to bail it out in the Assembly elections, which is due on November 28.

The BJP's central representatives on Monday decided to deploy senior party leaders in all eight divisions of the state to reach out and placate angry party workers. These leaders include ministers, MPs and senior BJP leaders.

It was also decided to assign the media management to nine BJP spokesmen from outside the state. BJP's national spokesman Sambit Patra has been tasked with the supervising the spokesmen.

The decision followed the party's assessment that despite the huge expenditure on poll-related advertisements by the government and innumerable announcements by the chief minister, the spokesmen in the state have failed to articulate the BJP’s programmes and policies in the media.

BJP national general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal on Monday reviewed the party's poll prospects in a meeting of the election management committee and concluded that unless angry workers are placated, the party could face a severe challenge in electioneering.

Leaders in each division will be also asked for feedback, based on which the election management committee, headed by Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, will chalk out strategies to win over angry workers.

Ram Lal, who is the RSS pointsman in the BJP, is reported to have conveyed the Sangh's desire to the central BJP leadership to change about 75 sitting MLAs in order to counter the anti-incumbency.

According to BJP sources, the list of legislators to be changed includes half a dozen ministers, too.

The BJP's election preparations so far give a clear indication that the chief minister is unlikely to have much say in the candidate-selection process, though he is a member of the party's central election committee.

BJP president Amit Shah's independent team, in consultation with the RSS, is expected to finalise the candidates and the chief minister will just have to sign on the dotted line. The first list of candidates is likely next week.

(Published 23 October 2018, 14:11 IST)

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