Wednesday, July 24, 2024

(BJP PACKAGE) One poll, two targets: Raj BJP gets set for both Assembly, LS elections

Is the BJP preparing for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls simultaneously in Rajasthan? This is the big question doing the rounds in the political circles of the state — The reason is the constant visits of the central leadership to the desert state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made back to back trips here. He visited Abu Road in September 2022, Banswara in November 2022, Bhilwara in January 2023, Dausa in February 2023, Nathdwara and Ajmer in May 2023. And now Modi recently visited Bikaner. This has been Modi’s first visit to the northwestern region in this election season. So far, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have taken the flag forward for the BJP cause in this area.

Besides Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited Udaipur recently, BJP president JP Nadda was in Bharatpur, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed a rally in Jodhpur.

Says political expert Manish Godha, “it is very evident that the BJP in Rajasthan is keeping an eye on the Lok Sabha polls and is also preparing for the assembly elections. This is a two-way strategy where they are equally trying to work on Assembly and LS seats.”

In Rajasthan, the BJP won all the 25 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP had an alliance with the RLP but its convenor Hanuman Beniwal later parted ways with the NDA on the issue of the farm laws and hence now the party has 24 MPs in Rajasthan.

Now, the party is yet again making untiring efforts to sweep all the seats in the desert state.

That is why the back to back visits of the central leaders. The nine years of the Modi government campaign is also to highlight the aim of winning Lok Sabha seats in 2024, said Godha.

Modi’s Bikaner visit last Saturday in fact was his seventh to Rajasthan in the past nine months. The aim was to cater to 30 Assembly seats and four Lok Sabha seats across half a dozen districts of Rajasthan, said party workers.

The BJP has used the strategy smartly.

When we talk of Bikaner, the Congress has three MLAs in Bikaner, with all three serving as ministers in the government. The BJP’s strategy here was to target Ashok Gehlot’s free schemes while touting its own “double engine” development model.

Eventually, PM Modi opened the Greenfield Expressway between Amritsar and Jamnagar, built at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore. He also inaugurated other infrastructure projects worth crores. He was accompanied by Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Earlier, Modi flagged off the first phase of the Mumbai Delhi Expressway in Dausa.

“So the central projects are being launched in Rajasthan keeping in mind the Lok Sabha and assembly polls,” said party workers on condition of anonymity.

Political analysts pointed out how four of the BJP’s most prominent leaders have made a beeline for Rajasthan to mobilise party workers and highlight the work done by the central government.

Further the party is well aware that the Rajasthan elections will be the toughest of all states, said Godha adding that “The Rajasthan Assembly elections will likely witness a three-cornered fight, as beside the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party is also making its presence felt.”

“The AAP is in power in Punjab. Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh are districts adjoining Punjab. In such a situation, the Aam Aadmi Party is engaged in strengthening its organization in these areas.”

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has kicked off the party’s campaign in the poll-bound state with a public meeting in Sriganganagar. The AAP is hoping to reach out to those parts of Rajasthan which have a considerable number of people from the farming community, including Sriganganagar, Bikaner and Hanumangarh.

Besides the Congress, the BJP is facing a strong challenge from the AAP in this area.

Godha says “It’s clearly a tough fight for the saffron party. There is a directionless campaign in the state as there is no CM face and the party leadership is fractured. Party workers are confused about who they should follow. No one knows when the central leadership will come and take over but till then, there needs to be some face. Hence, the central leadership seems to be making this two way preparation for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls simultaneously. This looks like the toughest state in terms of political conditions here. So the saffron party is focusing on the Rajasthan as well as the Lok Sabha polls. They have started preparations well in advance as the elections might be held before December,” he added.

The BJP is not taking chances. If it loses the assembly, there will be Lok Sabha seats in its hands, and hence comes this two way strategy. However, its clear that the national polls will be contested on Modi’s face and so come the back to back visits by Modi.

“Dono ka campaign [ek saath chal raha hai… kyunki dono elections aane wale hain; we are just making headway to win the assembly and parliamentary polls, ” said a party worker.



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