BJP meet begins with seat rejig buzz

A two-day long meet of the state executive of the BJP began in Bodhgaya on Tuesday amid reports of agriculture minister Prem Kumar, the seven-time winner from Gaya town Assembly seat, throwing his hat into the ring to contest the Lok Sabha election from any of the three unreserved seats in Magadh division or neighbouring constituencies.

By Farhana Kalam in Gaya
  • Published 12.09.18
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BJP workers take part in the Bodhgaya executive meeting on Tuesday. (Suman)

Gaya: A two-day long meet of the state executive of the BJP began in Bodhgaya on Tuesday amid reports of agriculture minister Prem Kumar, the seven-time winner from Gaya town Assembly seat, throwing his hat into the ring to contest the Lok Sabha election from any of the three unreserved seats in Magadh division or neighbouring constituencies.

Party in-charge Bhupendra Yadav, state party chief Nityanand Rai, Union minister of state for health Ashwini Choubey, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and former Union minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain were present at the inaugural session of the meet. Agriculture minister and Lok Sabha ticket aspirant Prem Kumar too was present.

The executive meet would focus on how to hike the NDA's tally from 31 to all 40 seats, as per a goal set by party national president Amit Shah. The focus would be on booth-level management to outwit rivals.

Magadh region with four parliamentary seats, including Gaya reserved seat, is crucial for the BJP as the NDA had won all four seats here.

Rumours are afloat that Nawada MP and Union minister Giriraj Singh is likely to be shifted to Begusarai to thwart student leader Kanhaiya Kumar's ambition to enter Parliament from there as a Grand Alliance candidate.

Party insiders say the BJP will have to do some social re-engineering as all three Magadh division seats are represented by upper caste candidates and in view of the changing political scenario, the lobby representing EBC interests within the BJP may push for adopting an EBC candidate from the region. Being an EBC, agriculture minister and Gaya town MLA Prem Kumar suits the design to make the NDA more inclusive and representatives in the Magadh region.

Through a political resolution passed by the state executive, the party rededicated itself to take the inclusive Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas policy, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and resolved to deliver the message at every doorstep.

Road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav moved the political resolution seconded by Union minister Ashwini Choubey.

In his inaugural address, the party's state unit chief Nityanand Rai listed the prime minister's achievements on the development front and said the focus on the poor has been the party's mainstay. Accusing the Congress of practising the politics of division and appeasement, Rai said that, as opposed to the Congress, the BJP stood for real progress of the downtrodden sections and policies like total electrification and toilet construction bear testimony to the party's commitment towards the downtrodden sections and women's empowerment.

Party workers are also likely to be given tips to effectively fight the perception battle and social media onslaught on issues like petrol price hike and the rupee's steep fall. Keeping the morale of workers high at this juncture was crucial for a good show, insiders said.