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Eying south, BJP chief meets party core group leaders

Bengaluru: Eying expansion of the party in the south in a big way, BJP President Amit Shah today set a target of establishing party offices in all districts by December 2016 and training 15 lakh workers.

Shah met the party core group leaders of southern states here with the spotlight of the meeting being expansion and strengthening the party in the south and capacity building of its leadership.

Briefing reporters about the day-long ‘Maha Sampark Abhiyan’, which was also attended by legislators and MPs from southern states, BJP National General Secretary Muralidhar Rao said they also discussed the preparations for elections to the assemblies due next year in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

“The entire speech of the party president was on organisation expansion, strengthening and capacity building of party leadership. This has been the focus of today’s exercise,” he said.

The meet was attended by district Presidents and state-level office-bearers of the party in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Puducherry.

BJP has a big presence in Karnataka, which it has looked as the gateway to the south but the party is weak in Kerala, where it has failed to open an account. Tamil Nadu, a state dominated by Dravidian politics with DMK and AIADMK as the two main poles, has also kept BJP at a distance.

In Karnataka, riding the Modi wave, BJP won 17 of the 28 Lok Sabha Lok Sabha seats in the last Parliamentary elections in a remarkable recovery after it lost power in the Assembly polls a year before.

“Shah stated that for party expansion and its consolidation in the south it is very important to place before people the achievements of the Centre and take party’s ideology to them,” Rao said.

To address the problem of absence of party offices in district levels in the southern states, Shah talked about the party’s plan to set up district offices by December 2016, he said.

“The party will create infrastructure by December 2016 where each district will have party office. We want to set up this infrastructure because this is the weak area, particularly in the south,” he said.

Shah said that after providing infrastructure, the party would conduct training programmes of its 15 lakh workers.

“We are planning to impart training to 15 lakh party workers – without training the party will become an electioneering machinery, in which BJP is not interested,” Rao said quoting Shah.

“Mere winning of elections and mere electioneering is not the focus of the party. The party should work towards political transformation and social empowerment,” he added quoting the party president.