‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ came the punch line from none other but Narendra Modi in an election rally during the last leg of the 2014 general elections. As it turned out later, it wasn’t an off the cuff remark but a reflection of what was doing rounds within the closed doors of the BJP headquarters in the national capital.
What happened next, well as they say is history; Narendra Modi and his General Officer Commanding Amit Shah steered BJP to a victory which sent poll pundits into a tizzy. Mission 272 was done and dusted and there was no looking back.
From Assam in the East to Goa in the West, from Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur in north east to Uttarkahand in the north and most recently Nitish Kumar’s Bihar, the Modi juggernaut is on a roll and the Congress which not so long ago was the indisputable No. 1, is today fighting an existential battle.
While the BJP isn’t writing off the Grand Old Party as yet, Amit Shah is now busy drawing up a blueprint for 2019 general elections setting a target of 350 plus seats and working out the contours of how to make inroads into the coastal states of Odisha, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal for achieving the target.
A meeting to this effect was held in New Delhi on Thursday as Shah met party officials and Union Ministers. Amit Shah asked leaders to focus on 150-odd seats where the BJP stood second or third in the Lok Sabha elections. And the one-hour meeting happened as Opposition leaders were busy in a conclave to firm up a plan for countering PM Modi by putting up a united front.
With Nitish Kumar’s exit dealing a body blow to the combined efforts of Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and Lalu Prasad Yadav to stitch together a wobbly opposition, does the road ahead for BJP appear to be a bed of roses then?