BJP to create 11 panels for electioneering

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NEW DELHI, July 19: Gearing up for the series of State Assembly elections in the coming months and the general election slated for next year, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to constitute 11 committees to deal with several aspects of electioneering.

A meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board here, attended among others by the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, finalised the broad contours of the agenda to be pursued by the committees.

The Board has authorised party president Rajnath Singh to finalise the names of persons to be appointed committee members.

Mr. Modi, who has already been named as the chief of the party’s national election campaign committee, is yet to name members of his team.

A formal announcement on the proposed committees is likely on Friday. The panel will also include the members of the Modi team. Significantly, immediately after the Parliamentary Board, Mr. Modi called on the party patriarch L.K. Advani and sought his inputs on his team members.

Ever since Mr. Advani revolted against the nomination of Mr. Modi as the party election campaign chief, the Gujarat Chief Minister has been going out of his way to reach out to the party patriarch.

On Wednesday night, Mr. Modi had a four-hour marathon one-on-one meeting with the BJP president. Indications are that all senior leaders of the party would be associated with key issues of election management to send out a signal that the election would be fought under a collective leadership.

The committees would be entrusted with conducting of rallies, public meetings, preparation of the manifesto, publicity literature, advertisement and media management, reaching out to various sections of the society — youth, women, professionals, rural and urban voters — social media campaigns, leaders’ programmes and travel plans, logistics etc.

The Parliamentary Board also discussed the issues to be flagged by the party among the people both inside and outside Parliament. The crucial Bills and matters that the main Opposition plans to raise during the monsoon session — beginning from August 5 — were also discussed.

On the government’s decision earlier this week to allow more FDI in insurance (from 26 to 49 per cent) and telecom (from 74 to 100 per cent) sector, the BJP has decided to oppose the move in Parliament.

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