BJP

Barely a Year to go For Lok Sabha Polls, PM Narendra Modi Tells Ministers to Pull up Their Socks



New Delhi, June 14:  As the NDA government enters its final year before the next Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a meeting of his Council of Ministers wherein he is said to have tightened up the Ministers, according to informed sources. It was notably the first meeting of the Council of Ministers after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a series of electoral defeats in various by-polls including on some key Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh such as Gorakhpur, Phulpur, and Kairana.

In the recently held 10 by-elections, the BJP suffered losses on eight seats including two Lok Sabha seats of Kairana in Uttar Pradesh and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra.  According to sources, the meeting assessed the work done in the past four years by the NDA government vis-a-vis implementation of various government schemes on the ground, and also discussed the roadmap to the 2019 elections and the Ministers have been asked to “work according to a calendar in an organised way”.

The schemes whose implementation and effectiveness was reviewed included Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana, and Ayushman Bharat among others. (ALSO READ: PM Narendra Modi to Visit Chhattisgarh Today, Inaugurate Expanded Bhilai Steel Plant, Jagdalpur Airport)

The Prime Minister is said to have told his colleagues to be proactive with “taking the message of various government schemes and achievements in the last four years to the public”. They have also been asked to plug the loopholes, if any, in the working of their Ministries and departments.

In the last two years, the BJP has lost six Lok Sabha seats in bypolls and currently, its tally stands at 273, just one above the halfway mark.

The biggest shock for the BJP came from Kairana — a seat the BJP won in 2014 — where the opposition had put up a common candidate. Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate Tabassum Hasan, supported by the Congress, the SP and the BSP, trounced the BJP’s Mriganka Singh in Kairana in Uttar Pradesh by over 55,000 votes.

Along with the Kairana reverse, the BJP also suffered the ignominy of losing the Noorpur Assembly seat to the Samajwadi Party in the by-election in Uttar Pradesh. Samajwadi candidate Naimul Hassan defeated BJP’s Avani Singh by over 6,200 votes.

The Kairana defeat for the BJP comes on top of the failure to retain Gorakhpur and Phulpur in the by-elections in March this year in which the Samajwadi candidates, with the backing of BSP, had defeated BJP candidates.

(With agency inputs)

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