BJP to Replicate Gujarat Plan in Madhya Pradesh for 2023 Elections

20 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

bjp National

Prior to the 2023 assembly elections, the BJP chapter in MP has devised a multifaceted plan to reduce anti-incumbency, resolve conflicts between leaders, and increase public involvement

In order to reduce anti-incumbency, resolve conflicts between leaders, and increase public participation before the 2023 assembly elections, the Madhya Pradesh chapter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has devised a multifaceted approach, according to party officials familiar with the specifics.

Functionaries who spoke on the condition of anonymity claimed there is a chance the party may “remove between 40-45% of the current MLAs” to field new faces amid speculation that the party high command may implement a Gujarat-like shift in the state’s government by appointing a new council of ministers.

The measures to clean house follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive to strengthen the organisational structure and his laudatory remarks about the Gujarat branch of the party for going above and beyond to win the assembly elections. Modi praised Gujarat unit president CR Paatil for steering the party to a record victory by capturing 156 of the 182 seats at a gathering of the BJP’s parliamentarians last week.

A senior party official stated that “in the upcoming weeks, our state unit will redouble efforts in terms of voter participation, coordinated communication throughout localities, and revitalising the booth committees to excite voters.”

Leaders in Madhya Pradesh are optimistic that a reinvigorated effort will help overcome the obstacles of anti-incumbency in their state as well, as a similar outreach in Gujarat yielded positive results in the state where the party has not lost an election since 1995. From 2003 through 2018, the BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh without interruption. In the 2018 election, it came in last place with 109 of the 230 seats gained, while the Congress took 114 seats to establish the government. In March 2020, the BJP regained control as 21 lawmakers defected from Congress to the BJP.

“We are aware of the difficulties and dangers of holding power for an extended period of time. People, especially the younger generation, are not opposed to change when a certain amount of ennui sets in. Changes at the state and district levels started as soon as the new state unit president, VD Sharma, was chosen in February 2020, keeping this in mind. Since then, a number of actions have been made to make sure we are in line with voter preferences, the functionary continued.

All 64,000 voting booths were digitalized during the first stage of the makeover, which was overseen by the state unit headed by Sharma. The council of ministers and all other leaders were asked to spend 10 days at a single booth. The party simultaneously sought to develop young leaders.

“At the moment, all Mandal presidents and district presidents are under 35 years old. There was tension between the old guard and the new because of this, but the leadership intervened to diffuse things by outlining the importance of letting the younger generation take the reins. A training session was held for BJP members who switched from other parties to assist them to fit in, according to a second state-based official.

One of the main factors in the party’s defeat in the state elections was a rebellion by party officials who were not awarded tickets to run in Himachal Pradesh, raising serious concerns about the need to resolve intraparty conflicts.

The party is making sure that the benefits of central and state initiatives reach the intended beneficiaries with a focus on women, youth, and voters from the scheduled castes and tribes. “Information regarding the beneficiaries and those who have been excluded from the scope of the schemes are being gathered at every booth. By 2023, there should be roughly 1.7 million first-time voters, which is why Amit Shah, the previous party president, established the khilte kamal (blooming lotus) program to foster potential. On January 12, a youth policy will be revealed, according to the second functionary.

The party is concentrating on awarding scholarships, providing skill development training, and honouring tribal icons in order to strengthen its position among the marginalised populations. According to the 2011 Census, 15.62 percent of Madhya Pradesh’s population is from the scheduled castes, while 21.2% is from tribal groups. The poor performance in ST and SC strongholds was cited as the cause of the 2018 defeat. The party won 31 of the 47 ST seats allotted for them in 2013, but this number fell to 16 in 2018, while in the SC seats earmarked for them, the BJP’s total fell to 18 from 28.