BHOPAL: The ruling BJP hasn’t a fixed target of winning 350 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but is looking to score much beyond that figure in the next general polls.
But BJP’s plans to win more seats on its own in the 2019 polls will have no bearing on the health of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), as the BJP will continue to be its part even after increasing its individual seats tally further.
“We’ve not set a target of winning just 350 seats in 2019 polls, but are working at winning much more than that number. The party is working to bolster its organisation on each and every seat to increase its numbers in next elections. But the NDA will continue to be with us in future also. We had majority on our own even in 2014, but continued to be part of the NDA and will continue to be a seminal part of the alliance in future also,” BJP national president Amit Shah told journalists in Bhopal on Saturday.
A few hours after the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) formally announced joining the NDA, Shah welcomed the decision, but added that no formal decision has been taken as yet about JD(U) joining the government at the Centre.
On West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee reportedly saying that she didn’t have any problem with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but blamed BJP president Amit Shah for the “environment of dictatorship in the country,” Shah thanked Mamtaji for appreciating the PM’s leadership.
While lauding chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s leadership in MP, Amit Shah exuded confidence that the party would win another term in the state with two-thirds majority in 2018. He, however, ruled out the possibility of Lok Sabha and MP Assembly polls being held simultaneously in 2018.
On the One Nation One Election (ONOE) formula mooted by Narendra Modi, Amit Shah said the thought has been put forward by the Prime Minister before all political parties and the nation. “We need to have a public debate between all political parties on the issue, followed by the Election Commission deciding over it,” said Shah.
When asked the government’s approach on Kashmir, Shah said that the government is tackling the separatists and terrorists with full seriousness in the valley. “Very good results have accrued over the last two months and things are finally on the right track now,” added Amit Shah.
When asked about two senior ministers Babulal Gaur and Sartaj Singh being dropped from Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet in Madhya Pradesh in 2016 on the pretext that they had crossed 75-plus years of age, the BJP national president put the ball in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s court saying it’s prerogative of the CM to decide who to include and drop from the government.
Amit Shah, however, ruled out that any rule or formula had been framed by the party to stop those aged over 75 years from contesting elections. “No such rule has been made which will stop leaders aged above 75 years from contesting the polls,” said the BJP national chief.
Shah’s statement is likely to boost the electoral prospects of eight-time BJP MLA and former chief minister Babulal Gaur, who is eyeing to win from Govindpura Assembly seat of Bhopal for the ninth consecutive time in 2018.