New Delhi: In order to gear up for the 2019 Lok Sabha parliamentary polls, BJP president Amit Shah has asked the party’s Rajya Sabha members to adopt one Lok Sabha seat each where the BJP had lost in 2014.
This is being seen as preparing the grounds for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by promoting what BJP calls its "pro-poor" and "good governance" agenda. Shah gave this direction at a meeting attended by BJP's all 52 Rajya Sabha MPs. Wednesday's meeting followed two major interactions Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with BJP chief ministers and top party leaders from states who were asked to work overtime to make the government's "pro-poor" policies a success, expand the organisation and its ideological influence.
"Amit Shah asked the Rajya Sabha members to adopt one Lok Sabha constituency where the party had lost in 2014 and nurse it as if they are the Lok Sabha members from there. It will help party win from there. He asked them to spend their MPLAD fund there and work in expanding the organisation.
He said Rajya Sabha members should also work to spread the party's base and ideology," Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters briefing about what transpired at the meeting. Javadekar said that he too, along with other top ministers in Modi cabinet Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Parrikar, will join other MPs in adopting such a LS constituency. The MPs have been asked to "nurse" the constituencies in a way the Lok Sabha members from there would have, said Javadekar.
While the party has constantly pushed its Lok Sabha members to work on its developmental and organisational agenda, there has been a feeling that the Rajya Sabha members, many of whom have little stake in electoral politics, have not been involved much in the exercise.
Asked what RS members from states like Gujarat and Rajasthan, where BJP had won all the Lok Sabha seats, will do, he said the party will find a way for utilising their services. These members would coordinate with the state unit and the government in states where BJP is in power to adopt a constituency.
"They have to work, campaign as if they are the Lok Sabha members from there. They have to take up party programmes and developmental schemes like Lower House members… They should make up for the party not having its MP from there," Shah said.
Asked if the party will field them in the Lok Sabha polls if they worked well, Javadekar avoided a direct reply, only saying the BJP believes in a "constant evaluation process". The best candidate from there will be given ticket and the work by these Rajya Sabha members will stand them in good stead.