Both BJP and Congress pin hopes on 120 seats
New Delhi, April 06: As the Lok Sabha elections are approaching, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as the Congress have pinned high hopes on 120 seats.
While the BJP has been working to strengthen its base in those 120 seats right after the 2014 elections where it didn't perform well, the Congress has swung into action after the recent success in state assembly elections and identified 120 seats where it would have a direct or tough fight with the BJP.
1n 2017, BJP president Amit Shah had deputed central ministers, national general secretaries and more than 3,000 part-time volunteers in 120 parliamentary constituencies, where the BJP either lost or came second in 2014.
Some of these seats include those, which the party had been winning, but lost in 2014 despite a "Modi wave."
Each minister and general secretary had been given the charge of five to six such constituencies.
The BJP had also deputed 600 full-timers, who are tasked to focus on all Lok Sabha constituencies till the counting of 2019 elections.
While 543 of them have been placed in each Lok Sabha constituency, the remaining has been working as supervisors for a cluster of five Lok Sabha seats each in the weak regions, where the party didn't perform well in 2014.
In 2017, Shah had undertaken a 95-day tour of states. During his tour, sources say, Shah had taken special feedback on the 120 Lok Sabha constituencies.
Shah's main focus has been on West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana and Kerala. The BJP had managed to win just 4 Lok Sabha seats out of the 102 in these states in the 2014 election.
The BJP had started this exercise as it knew that it won't be easy to retain all the seats won in 2019.
Sources say that though the Congress had also started analysing its worst-ever drubbing in 2014 elections, the party got a booster after its recent win in the BJP ruled Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
The Congress strategists have identified 120 seats in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Maharashtra where it would be coming face to face with the BJP, say sources.
Out of these 120 seats, only a few are with the Congress and rest with the BJP. The Congress aims to not only retain its seats but snatch other seats from the BJP.
The Congress, sources say, has kept a fact in mind that it has given or will be giving tickets to only those candidates who are capable of giving a tough fight to the BJP on these 120 seats
The Congress also realises that if it has to have a say in the grand alliance post elections then it must have a handsome tally.
After the release of the manifesto, the Congress leaders are confident that the party's promises will make its election journey smoother.
One of the main promises of the Congress is that 20% of the poorest families in the country would be annually given Rs. 72,000 each under Nyuntam Aay Yojna (NYAY) or Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme.
Another big promise of the Congress is that it has announced that it would waive the outstanding farm loans, introduce a separate 'Kisan Budget', and re-design the BJP government's Fasal Bima Yojana (Crop Insurance Scheme).