BJP prepares to counter delimitation hurdles

February 25th, 2008 - 11:45 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) With the boundaries of constituencies having been redrawn, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started chalking out a strategy to maximise its chances in the next Lok Sabha elections in the post-delimitation scenario. “Since the 1989 general elections, there are 296 constituencies in all from where the BJP has won once or more. Of these, we won 138 seats in the 2004 polls. For the remaining 158 constituencies spread over 24 states, we are forming 54 clusters led by as many leaders to assess our winnability,” BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said here Monday.

She was briefing reporters after a brainstorming session of the core group of 19 leaders formed to prepare the poll strategy, from the finer details to the bigger issues.

The session was chaired by the BJP’s senior leader L.K. Advani and attended by party president Rajnath Singh and the general secretaries.

Realising that delimitation would mean not only a change of some seats from the reserved category to the general or vice versa, the BJP is taking steps to prepare for the more far-reaching changes that it entails.

“The leaders chosen for these 54 clusters will check the victory potential,” Swaraj said.

The BJP, which boasts of organisational strength and cadre discipline, is not taking any chances.

The 54 clusters have been formed keeping geographical contiguity of the constituencies in mind. The leader chosen to head a cluster will be the one who does not belong to the state nor has ever been in-charge of it but knows the local language.

“We are taking all measures to ensure that no prejudices creep in,” Swaraj said.

To prevent the leaders from making a whirlwind tour of the clusters assigned to them - all the leaders will be handling more than one constituency - the party has issued guidelines. For example, a night stay in the constituency is a must.

The deadline for submitting the report is March 20 when parliament, now in its budget session, will be into a 20-day recess. This will give the BJP’s senior leaders time to go through the assessment reports and chalk out plans for further action.

Further strategies like which seat to give to its alliance partners, taking note of local issues like development, social aspects and the like will be considered after the reports come in, Swaraj said.

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