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BJP set for major overhaul, many states likely to get new party chiefs ahead of LS polls

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In a series of marathon meetings at the party headquarters Sunday, president Amit Shah and other top leaders discussed the strategy for next year’s polls.

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party began its preparations for next year’s general elections Sunday, with top leaders discussing the new team that will lead its bid to be re-elected at the Centre. Thanks to a push from the general secretaries, many states are likely to get new party presidents and state in-charges.

In a series of marathon meetings with senior leaders and state chief ministers, the party analysed its position in various states, as well as turning its focus towards an organisational overhaul that has been under consideration for a long time.

Party president Amit Shah was at the headquarters all day, having recently returned from a visit to poll-bound Karnataka. He was the one who kicked off the process while he was still in the southern state when he replaced union minister Vijay Sampla as president of the Punjab unit with Shwet Malik, considered close to finance minister Arun Jaitley.

 “This (reorganisation) will be done keeping in mind the roles the party has planned for each leader. We have specific requirements of them, and they will be suitably placed,” said a top source.

Meetings with CMs and senior leaders

Shah met three chief ministers — Haryana’s M.L. Khattar, Rajasthan’s Vasundhara Raje and Uttarakhand’s T.S. Rawat.

Sources said Raje was asked about her plan to take out a ‘Suraj Gaurav Yatra’, and asked to go to the voters with a strong roadmap for the future. She was asked to weigh in on every issue that could cause a backlash for the party in the state, which goes to assembly polls later this year.

Shah also had one-on-one and group meetings with union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Dharmendra Pradhan. Former Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna too called on the party chief.

The party is planning to stick to its tried-and-tested election micro-management strategy in every constituency, and that’s what the discussions were about, sources said.

Changes coming in Uttar Pradesh?

Uttar Pradesh remained a matter of concern for BJP leaders after recent debacles in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls.

“Discussions are on about a strategy to counter the SP-BSP alliance in state. Dalit outreach too needs to be tackled with care,” said a source.

“There may be some changes in the UP cabinet if suggestions are accepted, keeping in mind the caste combination.”

What next? 

Similar strategy meetings are expected to take place over the next few weeks, in which other states’ CMs and senior leaders will meet Shah and the other top leaders.

Meanwhile, the BJP also discussed the incidents of communal violence in Bihar and West Bengal.

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