Shah takes stock of Congress-BSP alliance plans

Shah takes stock of Congress-BSP alliance plans

BJP reaches out to SCs, OBCs and farmers at National Executive

Amid concerns in the BJP camp over the growing possibility of a national-level alliance between the Congress and the BSP, party chief Amit Shah on Saturday discussed the issue with chief ministers of poll-bound states Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.

While Shah in his address at the national executive termed attempts to form a grand alliance as nothing more than an “eyewash” and “coalitions based on lies” that need to be exposed before people, the BJP top leadership also discussed the eventualities for upcoming assembly polls and 2019 general elections in case such an alliance is materialised.

At the national executive meeting attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu and Sushma Swaraj, Shah said that the 2019 elections will be fought on the achievements of Modi government and the strength of party organisation.

The meet clearly bore a stamp of the party’s priority to consolidate OBCs and farmer constituencies. Shah spoke at length about various steps taken by the Modi government like granting Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes and his governments’ commitment to protect the rights of Scheduled Castes.

A resolution on agriculture was passed at the meeting after which Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, reiterated Modi’s commitment to double the income of farmers by 2022. Chouhan, whose state Madhya Pradesh has been a seat of farmer agitation in recent times, dwelt at length about the pro-farmer initiatives taken by the Modi government.

The vote gap between the BJP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh was 8% in 2013. The BSP gets around 6% votes in the state. A tie-up could create trouble for the BJP, which is facing anti-incumbency of three-term Chief Minister Chouhan. In Chattisgarh, the vote gap between the two parties was just 0.75% in last polls.

Sources said that Shah also discussed the preparedness of the party organisation and the poll strength of the BJP governments in these states besides in Mizoram and Telangana.

The party later also fielded Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan to counter the Opposition campaign against it on fuel price hike.

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