BJP’s two-day national executive meeting will begin in Allahabad today with all senior leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president, Amit Shah attending.
Analysts feel that the saffron party will kick off its campaign for the next year’s Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
There are reports that the BJP will also deliberate the possible names to be projected for the chief minister’s post ahead of UP polls.
Who will the face of BJP in next year’s elections appears to have become a huge concern for the central leadership. This is is also fuelling internal difference within the party.
As party leaders arrived in Allahabad, many posters greeted them with Varun Gandhi’s photo.
However, a BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh tried to play down the significance of poster war. NDTV quoted him as saying, “posters and hoardings don’t mean someone is a claimant for the CM (chief minister’s) post.”
Varun, the BJP MP from Sultanpur, was dropped from the list of office-bearers after Amit Shah took over the party in 2014.
There’s growing concern that if Gandhi is not projected as the CM candidate, he may leave the party. Aware that Gandhi leaving the BJP in the election year will deal a crippling blow its electoral chances, the BJP may do Bihar and not project any name at all.
Noida MP and the union culture minister, Mahesh Sharma, and the union HRD minister, Smriti Irani too are two likely claimants to the CM candidate’s post.
The BJP could also replicate its Assam strategy and project Sharma, a dark horse, as its chief minister’s candidate.
Meanwhile, leaders have been pouring in to take part in the two-day conclave which will conclude tomorrow, followed by a rally to be addressed by Modi.
Several senior members of the Union cabinet and Chief Ministers of all the states ruled by the BJP are also likely to take part in the national executive meeting.
“I would have called it as sounding the poll bugle for UP assembly polls but for PM Modi’s rally in Saharanpur last month,” Singh was quoted by PTI.
The party’s vice-president and in-charge for the state Om Mathur said “many issues would be discussed at the national executive but the main focus would obviously be on the UP assembly polls due next year.”
Posters have come up across the city displaying the header ‘Mission 265 Plus’ a term coined by Shah who has repeatedly exhorted workers to aim at achieving a thumping majority for the party in the 403-strong UP assembly.
The BJP at present has less than 50 MLAs in the house, a massive decline since the 1990s when it used to be the top political group in the state.