Focus On Votes, Ram Temple: Inside Story Of Key BJP Meeting

With an eye on the Lok Sabha elections, both the BJP and the Congress held key meetings on Saturday.

PM Modi has set the BJP a target of winning 35 crore votes in the 2024 elections.

New Delhi:

With the Assembly polls behind them, both of India's biggest political parties have turned their focus to the all-important Lok Sabha elections, which are due in less than four months. This was borne out by two key meetings held by the BJP and the Congress on Saturday, which also reflected the very different positions the parties find themselves in.

While the two-day BJP meeting of national office-bearers, which ended on Saturday, saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorting workers to gear up for the campaign and the party setting a target of getting 35 crore votes in the 2024 elections, the Congress meeting was focused on working out seat-sharing with allies from the INDIA bloc, which was formed to take on the ruling party.

'Mission Mode'

During the BJP meeting of national office bearers and state presidents, which began on Friday, PM Modi asked workers and prepare for the Lok Sabha elections in mission mode. Sources said the Prime Minister also set the party a target of winning 35 crore votes in the 2024 elections, against the 22.9 crore it managed to get in 2019.

The BJP meet, according to the sources, also focused on the Ram Temple consecration on January 22. It was decided that workers would be asked to give out as much information on the Ram Temple as possible on social media platforms and hold discussions on it. They will also be instructed to arrange for live telecast of the consecration ceremony in their respective areas on January 22 and organise visits to Ayodhya after the consecration for people from every state. 

"To achieve the increase in votes, a strategy was formulated to reach 7 crore beneficiaries of various government schemes," a source said. 

PM Modi will address the youth across the country in January and it has been decided to run a campaign to connect with women, youth, farmers and the poor. 

Workers will also be asked to stay in touch with every voter at the booth level and visit their homes and meet them. One of the key issues they have been asked to discuss is India's growing power on the global stage, the sources said.

Alliance Panel Meet

The National Alliance Committee of the Congress held its first meeting on Saturday. The five-member panel was formed earlier this week to discuss seat-sharing and alliances with other political parties from the INDIA bloc for the 2024 elections. Mukul Wasnik is the convenor and the other members are Salman Khurshid, former chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, and Mohan Prakash.

After the meeting, Mr Wasnik said, "We will first speak to the state units. We will decide on a  seat-sharing formula soon. There is no deadline set for this. But we will decide as soon as possible," he said.

The Congress has been criticised by some INDIA allies after its defeats in the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh elections, who have also said that the party should be more accommodating in seat-sharing conversations.