Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 1
The New Year will be an important phase for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on several fronts, including the Rajya Sabha where the party-led NDA hopes to achieve a majority by November. As many as 72 seats are falling vacant this year and the BJP, which has 82 members in the 245-member House, aims to retain what it holds along with extra strength in order to pass key legislations without having to depend upon non-NDA/friendly opposition parties.
But before that, it also has to clear two important hurdles — Bihar and Delhi — where the election results will reflect the mood of the electorate on big decisions taken by Narendra Modi government 2.0, including the controversial amendment to the Citizenship Act.
Delhi and Bihar will also affect future functioning of the saffron party, where a new president will take over “soon”. Working president JP Nadda is expected to replace party president and Home Minister Amit Shah in an exercise that may culminate along with the Delhi elections in February, say sources.
The BJP’s new team will have a task cut out. After losing five states — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and now Jharkhand, the BJP faces a bigger challenge in the form of Bihar where after the CAA issue its relations with ally JD(U) are on a downslide.
Meanwhile in Delhi, the BJP faces the challenge of finding a suitable face to take on Arvind Kejriwal whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) swept the 2015 Assembly polls with 67 of the 70 seats. Sources say senior leaders, including Shah and Nadda, who today again took stock of Delhi, have decided to approach it without a chief ministerial face. Then next year are elections in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry, considered difficult for the BJP, especially Assam. In Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has rejected the BJP’s criticism against the resolution against the CAA, saying that state Assemblies have their own privileges. It could spell trouble for the BJP if more CMs decide to join in.
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