BJP on mission mode for 2019, sets new targets
Keeping its thrust on development agenda, the BJP has embarked on a mission to retain power in 2019, fine-tuning its strategy to woo the poor and a section of Muslims to expand its base.
On the concluding day of the two-day National Executive meet, the BJP political resolution indicated that it would focus on adding new socio-groups into its fold even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to attract some in the Muslim community, especially women and the poor.
Dubbing Triple Talaq a "bad social practice", Modi said such things can be ended by social awakening but stressed that the Bharatiya Janata Party didn't want a conflict on this issue.
Modi's observation came at his concluding remarks.
"As far as social justice is concerned, our Muslim sisters should also get justice. There should not be injustice to them. No one should be exploited," Union Minister Nitin Gadkari quoted Modi as saying.
Modi added: "We should not allow conflict in the society. We don't want any conflict in Muslim society over the issue. We need to end such bad practices by awakening the society."
Earlier, making an intervention during the discussion over the resolution passed on a new OBC Commission, Modi said even Muslims have backwards and marginalised and the government must address their concerns.
BJP sources said Modi asked the party leaders and workers to hold district-level meetings over the issues of backward Muslims and women.
Modi also expressed his desire to rid India of social and economic inequities.
Accusing the opposition of concocting issues, Modi said: "It seems the opposition manufactures these issues in some factories. During the Delhi election, Church attacks was highlighted and during the Bihar polls 'Award Wapsi' was the issue. And right now it is EVM."
The Prime Minister told party workers to stick to "positive approach".
Earlier, two resolutions were passed by the National Executive focusing on the poor and backward communities in the society.
Coming down heavily on the Congress and other opposition parties for blocking in the Rajya Sabha a bill to grant constitutional status to the OBC Commission, the BJP accused them of depriving the poor of their benefits.
Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said: "These parties have always suppressed the interests of the backward classes and only given them false hopes."
He said the manner in which the bill was opposed exposed their attitude towards backward classes.
The resolution was moved by BJP's OBC MP Hukumdev Narayan Yadav and seconded by Chief Ministers like Raghubar Das of Jharkhand, Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
The BJP's focus on OBCs and Modi's remarks on the backwardness of Muslim society and Triple Talaq is seen as the party's effort to woo these social groups ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP also has to face assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal, Karnataka and Odisha. BJP President Amit Shah has begun micro management for these contests.
Where the BJP is not a major player, it is targeting new social groups.
Shah has asked party workers to go the extra mile to strengthen the party in 120 Lok Sabha constituencies where it is weak.
Noting that Modi had worked hard and translated his words into action, the political resolution said: "The BJP calls upon the people of our country to take a pledge to form a government under the leadership of Narendra Modi in 2019 in order to have the continuity of development and welfare policies for all."