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Learn from defeat too: PM Modi to BJP leaders

* Be it victory or defeat, the BJP should assess its performance in detail so that it can prepare for future polls.

* In West Bengal, the party should see how TMC worked its way back to a big victory in the recent Assembly polls after its poor performance in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, when BJP had won 18 of 42 seats in the state.

* The party needs accounts in every regional languages to use social media more effectively.

These are some of the suggestions Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave to BJP general secretaries in Sunday’s meeting, it is learnt.

Modi was addressing party general secretaries after a two-day stock-taking and review meet of BJP’s performance in the Assembly elections, and its activities under the ‘Seva hi sanghatan’ programme during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the nearly five-hour meeting at his official residence, Modi gave “several suggestions” as the party gears up for Assembly polls in five states early next year, sources said.

In the just-concluded elections, the BJP-led NDA won in Assam, became the main opposition with 77 seats in West Bengal, is all set to form a coalition government in Puducherry, won four seats in Tamil Nadu, even though it drew a naught in Kerala.

Speaking on Kerala, Modi is learnt to have advised party leaders to shed “rigidity” in forming alliances and bringing non-Hindu communities to BJP’s support base. He said BJP should try and win over the Christian community in the state, as it “does not seem to be having any major issues in joining hands with BJP”, it is learnt.

The PM, sources said, suggested that the party should try and take advantage of the “goodwill and influence” the Christian community has in Kerala’s political and social scene.

As for West Bengal, Modi is learnt to have asked party leaders to study how the Trinamool Congress, which had faced a setback in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, worked for its landslide victory in these Assembly polls.

Training for third wave of Covid

Before meeting Modi, the BJP leaders held a day-long discussion on the party’s future plans.

Having faced flak for the absence of its leaders on field during the peak of the second wave of coronavirus, BJP is preparing for an anticipated third wave with plans to train 1 lakh health volunteers across the country to operate medical devices and perform other essential medical services.

The party took this decision at the meeting of general secretaries and chiefs of different morchas,, chaired by BJP president J P Nadda. In the meeting, also attended by BJP leaders in charge of different election-bound states, there was a discussion on post-poll violence in West Bengal as well, it was informed.

The meeting, held at Nadda’s residence, was attended by all eight BJP general secretaries, party’s general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh and presidents of its youth, women, farmers’, OBC, SC, ST and minority wings.

After the meeting, Nadda, Santhosh and the party general secretaries went to meet the Prime Minister.

“A report was presented to the party chief on relief work carried out by the party during the pandemic,” BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav told the media. “It was decided that the party will train 1 lakh health volunteers, including giving them technical knowledge to operate ventilators and other essential medical devices.”

Leaders of the affiliated morchas have been asked to focus on promoting the government’s initiatives for their respective sections.

For instance, Yadav said, the Scheduled Tribes wing of the party was asked to focus on promoting the Centre’s Van Dhan Yojana for tribals. Similarly, the kisan morcha will facilitate training of farmers at the farmers’ producers organisations (FPOs) across the country, while the women’s wing will promote “Poshan Abhiyan”, which aims to achieve a malnutrition-free India, among women, he said.

While BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya had briefed the leaders on Saturday about the party’s performance in West Bengal, on Sunday it was assessed that the BJP has strengthened its position in the state after the Assembly polls in April-May, having raised its seat tally to 77 and reducing both the Left and Congress to nil.

On post-poll violence in West Bengal, Yadav said reports of political violence have been coming from the state regularly; he underlined that the party is firmly standing with the people of Bengal.

BJP general secretary Arun Singh said under its “Sewa hi sangathan” campaign, the party marked the seventh anniversary of the NDA government under Modi. As part of the campaign, the party carried out relief work in more than 1.71 lakh villages and around 60,000 urban centres, while over 4 lakh elderly and needy people were provided medicines, he said.

Similarly, 1.26 crore face masks, 31 lakh food packets and 19 lakh ration kits were distributed among people, Singh added.

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