BJP girds up for battle of booths to defend 273+ score line  

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, January 16: Elections are won in polling booths. Hundred polling booths decide the fate of the candidates in one Lok Sabha seat, while 25 of them can seal the fortune in an Assembly constituency. The Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda told the national executive meeting of the party in the national capital that significant gains have been made to bolster the presence in polling booths in the country.

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections by all accounts was the peak performance of the BJP, dazzling the political pandits, as the saffron outfit hit the 303 score line. That was achieved on the basis of the BJP sweeping through West Bengal, blanking out the Opposition in Bihar, stellar victories in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan.

The BJP has lost several of party MLAs to the ruling Trinamool Congress. The top leaders of the BJP have not been able to build the party plank in West Bengal, losing the 2019 plot in the Assembly elections and thereafter. The BJP has been sent to the Opposition ranks in Bihar where the party’s long-term ally JD (U) is now in the wedlock with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and immediate divorce appears not in the horizon. In Maharashtra, the BJP carried out surgical strike in its oldest ally Shiv Sena to split the party, and the incumbent Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will have to prove that he can carry the weight of the expectations in the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

“The BJP has to lose just a little more than 30 seats in the Lok Sabha. The non-BJP ranks will together go past 272 mark in the lower house of Parliament. The Opposition will be comfortably placed to stake claims to power with their sole aim to see the BJP out of power. This is clearly the top concern of the BJP leadership, as the party went to booth level election management,” said a senior BJP functionary.

Former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, while speaking to reporters on the key points of the speech of Nadda in the party plenary, stated that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given the task to work on 73,000 weak polling booths, the workers of the saffron outfit exceeded the target by reaching out to 1.30 lakh polling booths so far.

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