Has asked state leaders to call all district and block level party presidents to Bhopal where he will meet them.

 

After getting reports from senior Madhya Pradesh based party leaders that the anti-incumbency in the state was likely to damage the party’s poll prospects, BJP president Amit Shah has asked the state leaders to call all district and block level party presidents to Bhopal where he will be meeting them next Friday. The purpose of the meet, which was unscheduled, is to prepare the ground workers for the polls and “wake them up from complacency”.

Bhopal-based party sources said that the direction for arranging this meet was received earlier this week and all the district presidents and more than 800 block level party presidents have been asked to make sure that they reach Bhopal by Friday.

Earlier last week, Shah, who had an informal meeting with senior MP-based party leaders, was told that the party was facing marked anti-incumbency.

According to the feedback given to Shah, apart from 15 years of anti-incumbency, the poor performance of some of its Lok Sabha MPs (BJP had won on 27 out of the 29 seats in 2014) was also going to impact the state Assembly polls scheduled later this year.

“We are not just facing anti-incumbency, but we have also got reports that in many seats, the electorate is very unhappy with their MPs and if that is not handled, we will pay for it in the Assembly polls. As of now, we are sure of doing well (in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls) in only 8-9 seats. Many of our MPs who won because of the Modi-wave may not be able to win this time because they have not been able to do the kind of work that their electorate was expecting from them,” a senior party leader said.

According to party leaders, even Amit Shah is of the view that many MPs and MLAs have not lived up to the faith that the party and the voters had put on them.

“CM Shivraj and PM Modi cannot be present in all the constituencies all the time. It is the responsibility of the MLA and MP concerned to nurture his seat and voters. Hence, Shah will be directly interacting with the district and block level workers, bypassing their bosses (MLAs and MPs) and get a real picture of the situation on the ground,” a Bhopal-based party functionary said.

The state leadership has already started identifying sitting MLAs who will be asked to make way for new faces. Unlike in the past elections, when the Congress was being led by a relatively “weaker” leader, Arun Yadav, the party will contest the elections this time under the leadership of  veteran Kamal Nath who is seen as a politician who can manage everything and has virtually unlimited resources to counter the BJP.

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