New Delhi, Jan 29 (IECurrentAffairs) The ruling BJP is drawing out elaborate campaign strategies for upcoming general elections in key states including Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal and Gujarat wherein Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘performance’ during last four-and-half years will be major electoral issue.
The saffron party leadership will also expose the non-performance of other regimes.
Sources said that during the ensuing visit to Jammu, Leh and Kashmir regions of the militancy-hit northern state on February 3, Prime Minister is scheduled to address a public rally in the Vijaypur area of Samba district after laying the foundation stone of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) there.
Prime Minister will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stones of various developmental projects
worth Rs 35,000 crores in Jammu region and he will also attend a ceremony to mark the kick-start of works for widening of Jammu-Akhnoor road and inauguration of Jammu-Ropeway project.
“Besides highlighting the works during last four-and-half years, when a great balance was struck with developmental works on one hand and firm hand dealing with terror menace, the Prime Minister is likely to highlight the manner several important projects were languishing in the state,” a source said.
“The single biggest achievement during Governor’s Rule has been holding of panchayati and municipal elections. We have empowered local bodies and taken governance at the local levels,” the source said.
Sources said projects worth Rs 6900 crore were “languishing for decades” or were inadequate funded. “As per a survey carried out by J&K Planning and Development department an estimated Rs 6900 crore were required for completion of projects in key sectors like health, higher education, tourism and PWD”.
“Such negligence of governance and non-performance in states like West Bengal under Mamata Banerjee will also figure prominently during campaign in the eastern state. Mr Modi is scheduled to visit West Bengal on February 2 first and then would be going there again on February 8,” they said.
More than one BJP leader have maintained that ‘unity’ of opposition parties do not bother BJP as the ‘bipolar’ polls would ultimately help the party. “Moreover, the issue of Prime Ministerial race among opposition leaders would only contribute to help the saffron party’s interests,” the source said.
In West Bengal, BJP has won only two Lok Sabha seats out of 42 in 2014 but the saffron party strategists have set a target of 22-23 seats from the state.
“There is anger against the Trinamool Congress for its non performance and its governance through coercion and fear. We will tap this anger,” the BJP source said adding, “Once people make up their mind, the votes are sure to come as happened in Tripura which too has overwhelming Bengali population with a traditional inclination to vote for the Left parties”.
“PM Modi’s first rally in Bengal will be on on February 2 at Thakurnagar. The BJP is trying to make deeper penetration into these areas – a stronghold of Matuas. The community with estimated population of 35 lakhs in Bengal can influence in at least six Lok Sabha seats in North and South 24 Parganas districts.
The All India Matua Mahasangha has allied with the BJP and would ‘take active role’ in making the rally successful, sources said. Matuas – originally belonged to present day Bangladesh – but had started migrating to West Bengal and adjoining region in 1950s, mostly due to religious persecution.
A sitting BJP lawmaker has already said that The Citizenship Bill – now in row in north east – can be a ‘game changer’ in West Bengal.
As part of its electoral strategy, sources said in Gujarat too the BJP has been trying to reach out to Alpesh Thakore, Congress leader and MLA, and who has been part of the troika with Hardik Patel and Jignesh Mevani.
In a noted development, Congress’ OBC strongman Kunvarji Bavaliya has moved to the BJP camp already and this will have an impact among the Koli community.
In fact, giving enough importance to Kolis and the leadership of Mr Bavaliya, PM Modi had posted a tweet with a photograph of his meeting with Bavaliya in New Delhi.
“Our move for 10 quota for for economically weaker sections among upper castes will cool the temper among the anguished Patidar sections. As of now, it is advantage BJP in many states,” the source claimed.