Narendra Modi hosts dinner to review election preparations: BJP plans to target millenial voters ahead of 2019 LS polls

In view of the upcoming Assembly elections in eight states this year, and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a dinner meet at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday.

BJP's top brass including party chief Amit Shah and NDA Cabinet ministers, reportedly deliberated over a host of organisational issues and took stock of the present political situation in the country. The meeting which lasted more than three hours till 10 pm, saw all BJP general secretaries including P Murlidhar Rao, Saroj Pandey, Ram Madhav, Bhupendra Yadav, Kailash Vijayvargiya, Anil Jain and Arun Singh in attendance, according to The Asian Age

A senior party leader told PTI organisational issues were discussed at length. According to NDTVModi was likely to discuss the status of various government schemes in the states going to elections this year - Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Karnataka, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

File image of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. PTI

File image of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. PTI

Sources told The Print that Modi urged the party to engage in fresh communication strategies in the poll bound states and reviewed the work done so far. The report also stated that the plan was to seek detailed reports from each state on the implementation of Central and state government schemes in a run-up to the Assembly polls and 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well.

One of the most important things the BJP intends to do this year is target more millennial voters. In his last Mann Ki Baat address, Modi spoke about youngsters who would become eligible to vote in 2018. The prime minister specifically addressed the youth between 18-25 years of age and urged them to fulfil the dream of a 'new India'. He called them the 'new India youth' and said that a new India must be free of corruption and casteism. It should also provide equal opportunities for all. According to DNA, more than 2 crore people who were born in 2000 will be eligible to vote this year.

To this end, a mobile app called 'Millennium Vote Campaign’ is set to be launched on 18 January. To increase it's voter-connect, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) has been asked to help youngsters in registering themselves as voters. The party is also planning a 'College Connect' campaign to target college students, stated the DNA report.

According to Business Standardother elements of the voter-connect campaign include polling booth connect, and encouraging blood donations on 23 January, on the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose.

RSS' student wing Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), after losing several student elections in universities, has been tasked with reaching out to the youth, focusing on outreach to Dalits ahead of BR Ambedkar's birth anniversary on 14 April, reported Business Standard. 

Thursday's dinner meet also reviewed the recent electoral victories in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Himachal Pradesh last year and if more effort was required to ensure government schemes reached the people. Modi recently created a separate group on the NaMo app for BJP office bearers to interact directly with him.

The meeting comes as the BJP gears up to fight a number of Assembly polls and the Modi government readies to present its final full-fledged budget in February.

The BJP, which currently holds power in 19 states, is running a high-voltage campaign in poll-bound Tripura and Meghalaya, both of which are likely to go to polls next month, and Karnataka, where elections are expected to take place in May.

In a bid to maximise its chances of winning the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP is said to be planning a Rashtriya Raksha Yagna next to Red Fort from 18-25 March. Sources speculated that Modi might inaugurate the yagna, but quickly added that the prime minister hasn't committed to anything yet. Sources also indicated that President Ram Nath Kovind might bring the ceremony to a close and that BJP chief Amit Shah will be present at the ceremony too. The biggies aside, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, Union Ministers, parliamentarians and Hindu religious leaders are expected at the ceremony.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 12, 2018 12:16:40 IST

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