New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were part of a meeting last evening of the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to discuss the impact of the Covid crisis on the image of the party and its fallout on state polls next year, sources say.
The meeting in Delhi may lead to important decisions on the organization and the government in an attempt to undo the damage before the BJP faces elections next year in states including Uttar Pradesh, the sources say.
BJP chief JP Nadda, RSS leader Dattatreya Hosbole and Uttar Pradesh’s organizational in-charge Sunil Bansal were also in the meeting, which reflects deep worry “at the highest level” of the BJP and the RSS over the impact of the pandemic on public perceptions.
The ruling party is concerned about fierce criticism directed at PM Modi and the government over the deadly second surge of Covid, which caught the country off guard and exposed the ill-preparedness of its health system, with oxygen, medicines, hospitals beds and vaccines falling short.
Uttar Pradesh is among the worst-hit states, where bodies floating in the Ganga became a defining image in the Covid death spiral.
On the weekend, the BJP, smarting from criticism that its leaders were seen to be MIA at the height of the second surge, urged its workers to dedicate themselves to serve and visibly so.
In a letter to all BJP-ruled states, Mr Nadda said all functions to mark seven years of the Narendra Modi government be avoided on May 30. “Party workers should dedicate themselves in the service of the society,” he recommended instead, and said people must be thanked for giving the BJP a chance to serve for seven years.
“Standing by children who have lost both parents and providing them every support for their safe future is also our social responsibility…The idea is that all BJP-ruled states launch the programme together when the BJP-led government at the Centre completes seven years,” he wrote.
Its top leadership has also asked workers to arrange medicines, hospital beds, oxygen supplies in government hospitals — the country’s medical system has suffered a severe paucity of these resources in recent months.
Mr Nadda’s letter also reminded BJP workers of its motto, ‘Seva Hi Sangathan’ (Service is organisation).
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