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PM Narendra Modi hosts dinner for key BJP functionaries, RSS leaders

With Lok Sabha polls less than a year away, and crucial Assembly elections scheduled by year-end, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met key functionaries of the BJP and the RSS, including party president Amit Shah and Sangh’s executive head Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, to take stock of organisational issues and plan for the future.

Mr Modi met them at a dinner he had hosted at his official residence where guests included about 60 functionaries of the BJP and the Sangh, including those posted as organisational secretaries in the BJP, who have gathered at Surajkund in Haryana for a brainstorming session to draft a strategy for strengthening coordination among various saffron organisations ahead of the 2019 contest.

The BJP has begun preparing for Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — all BJP-ruled states — and will need the help of RSS cadres to fight anti-incumbency to retain power.

At the Surajkund session, senior RSS leaders — general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi and joint general secretaries Dattatreya Hosable and Krishna Gopal — will take stock of organisational secretaries’ work, and review poll preparedness in the three BJP-ruled states, sources said.

BJP president Amit Shah is expected to address the two-day conclave at Surajkund on its concluding day on Saturday, sources said.

In the BJP, organisational secretaries play a crucial role as they coordinate between the RSS, the party and parivar affiliates. They also review organisation-related issues and coordinate between the central leadership and state leaders.

Ahead of the 2019 electoral battle, the BJP and Sangh parivar affiliates’ main focus has been to expand the saffron party’s base and highlight people-centric schemes of the Modi government.

The RSS leadership had recently held a series of meetings with BJP leaders, including Union ministers, to review the imp-act of welfare schemes of their ministries.

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