New Delhi: In its bid to set the tone for Lok Sabha poll campaign, the BJP will be holding two-day national council meeting starting Friday. The government’s “social justice” plank with its outreach to Dalits, backward classes and general category is likely to be a key theme of the event.
BJP president Amit Shah will inaugurate the meeting at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground while Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the concluding speech on Saturday, laying down the agenda for the general elections.
Around 12,000 party members are expected to attend the BJP’s biggest ever national council meeting.
Sources said the council may pass three resolutions, highlighting the government’s “successes” on various fronts ranging from economy to social justice and also dwell at length on the prevailing political scenario.
While party leaders remained mum on whether the politically-sensitive issue of Ram temple will find a mention in the two-day meeting, some delegates said that the party may refer to it amid the heightened demands by Hindutva organisation, including the RSS, for bringing a law to pave way for the construction of a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
The party has invited its all elected members, ranging from those in local elections to its MPs, besides organisational leaders from across the country, for the meeting.
Parliament’s approval of a bill providing 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for economically weaker sections in the general category has boosted the saffron party’s morale after it suffered a blow in the recent assembly polls where it lost power in all three states it ruled.
The BJP believes that the bill, which will come into force after getting the President’s nod — a mere formality — will consolidate its core vote of upper castes in the Hindi-speaking states and also strengthen its appeal among political significant communities like Jats, Patidars and Marathas, among others.
A section of the party believes that anger among upper castes played a role in its loss in the recent state polls.
Party sources said the Modi government’s measures, like granting constitutional status to the OBC Commission and strengthening the law on atrocities against Dalits and tribals, are likely to be highlighted and projected as part of its “social justice” project.
The council is also expected to hit out at the Congress over its “falsehoods”, including those on the Rafale deal, and refer to the Supreme Court’s order that rejected demands for a probe into the matter.
The government’s measures for farmers, besides various schemes for the welfare of the poor and economic growth will also be discussed, they said.
Shah has often asserted that the BJP will win more seats than the 2014 polls, when it had won its first ever majority bagging 282 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats.
BJP’s rivals believe that the party is facing a resurgent Congress in several states while the expected alliance of the Samajwadi Party and the BSP will dent its prospects in Uttar Pradesh, making the likelihood of its repeat of 2014 feat challenging.
Delhi Police Issues Traffic Advisory
In wake of the two-day meeting, Delhi Police has issued traffic advisory anticipating traffic congestion on several roads leading to the venue.
To facilitate traffic movement and avoid congestion, no vehicle will be allowed on Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) Marg from Guru Nanak Chowk to roundabout Kamala market, police said.
Traffic Police have advised commuters to use public transport and avoid roads such as JLN Marg, Asaf Ali Road, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, Minto Road, Ranjeet Singh Marg and flyover, Desh Bandhu Gupta Road, Shraddhanand Marg, Ajmeri Gate side of New Delhi Railway Station and ITO to avoid congestion.
According to the advisory, traffic will be restricted on need basis on the certain stretches including Maharaja Ranjeet Singh Marg from Guru Nanak Chowk to Ranjeet Singh Flyover to Barakhamba Road-Tolstoy crossing, Vivekanand Marg (Minto Road), Jhandewalan roundabout on Desh Bandhu Gupta Road to Ajmeri Gate Chowk to roundabout Kamla Market, ChamanLal Marg from Guru Nanak Chowk to Turkman Gate, Asaf Ali road from Hamdard Chowk to Delhi Gate, Jawaharlal Nehru Marg from Delhi gate to Guru Nanak Chowk.
Commercial vehicles will not be allowed on JLN Marg from Rajghat to Ajmeri Gate, on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg from ITO to Minto Road, Desh Bandhu Gupta Road from Paharganj Chowk and Y-Point Sheela Cinema to Ajmeri Gate, Asaf Ali Road, Shraddhanand Marg, Vivekananda Marg (Minto Road) Maharaja Ranjeet Singh Marg from Guru Nanak Chowk to Barakhamba-Tolstoy Crossing, it stated.
City buses will be diverted from roundabout Jhandewalan, Minto road to DDU Marg crossing, Tilak Marg C-Hexagon, Mathura Road-Bhairon Road, Ram Charan Aggarwal Chowk (ITO), Chatta Rail Chowk, New Darya Ganj Road if required, the traffic advisory stated.
Buses coming from Sikandra Road and Tilak Marg and bound for Red Fort to Railway Station via Delhi Gate will be diverted on Ring Road via Vikas Marg and will take Salimgarh bye-pass up to Hanuman Setu and from there will go to Old Delhi Railway Station, if required, it mentioned.
(With PTI inputs)