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  Modi to set BJP’s LS poll roadmap at key conclave; farmers up ante on eve of talks with Centre 
Feb 18, 2024 12:26 pm

The BJP is concluding its two-day National Council meeting Sunday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to deliver the valedictory address – a speech that would draw the contours of the party’s campaign in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In his Sunday speech, the PM is likely to again exhort BJP leaders and rank and file from across the country to go all out to achieve the target of 370 seats set by him for the polls The BJP conclave adopted a resolution titled “Viksit Bharat – Modi ki Guarantee” and hailed PM Modi for having “effectively implemented the concept of Ram Rajya in the last 10 years”. BJP president J P Nadda, Defence Minister and senior leader Rajnath Singh said Modi would return to power for a third straight term with a roadmap for expanding the government’s welfare and development programmes that “have been reaching every home”. On the opening day of the crucial BJP meeting, setting clear targets for the BJP in the countdown to the elections, PM Modi said that party workers should see a target of 370 Lok Sabha seats as their tribute to Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, and not just as a number, as Liz Mathew and Vikas Pathak reported. Mookerjee had campaigned against Article 370, demanding complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India. In August 2019, the Modi government ensured the abrogation of Article 370, ending the special status of J&K. The BJP’s political resolution also attacked the Congress, saying people lost their trust in the party quickly wherever it was in power and brought back the BJP, a reference to states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. A host of BJP leaders highlighted the government’s development and cultural measures, and various initiatives for South India, farmers and Sikhs during their remarks on the resolution Amid protests by a section of farmers, Rajnath Singh said in his remarks while proposing the resolution that no government has done as much for farmers as the Modi government. “Farmers are no less than family for the Prime Minister,” he said. The resolution also accused the Opposition INDIA bloc of engaging in caste-based divisive politics and contrasted their approach with Modi’s assertion that the country has only four castes – the poor, farmers, women and the youth. The government’s initiatives have empowered these four “castes” as they are at the centre of its every scheme, it stated. Under Modi’s leadership, not only has the Ram Temple been constructed but he has also realised the dream of “Ram Rajya” in totality by working to empower all sections of society, the resolution said. A day before the agitating Punjab farm unions’ crucial meeting with Union ministers, farmer leaders on Saturday asked the Centre to bring an Ordinance on giving a legal guarantee to minimum support price (MSP) for crops, while a tractor march and dharnas were held in their support in Punjab and Haryana. Union ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai and Punjab farmer leaders will meet in Chandigarh on Sunday for the fourth round of their talks. Punjab Chief Minister and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann is also likely to be in attendance at this meeting. The two sides met earlier on February 8, 12 and 15, but those talks remained inconclusive