Shah's 'page pramukh' task sends BJP leaders into tizzy

Shah's 'page pramukh' task sends BJP leaders into tizzy

State unit told to assign one worker for each page of voters' list

Shah's 'page pramukh' task sends BJP leaders into tizzy

A section of BJP leaders is literally at its wit's end in completing homework assigned by party president Amit Shah--appointing 'page pramukhs', a worker in-charge for every page of the voters' list at the booth-level.

The task was set by Shah during his visit to Bengaluru last week, ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled to be held in April/May this year. It is part of BJP's micro-level election strategy that was successfully implemented in the recently held Gujarat Assembly polls. A 'page pramukh' will run the campaign by holding a meeting in person with every individual voter, whose name figures in the page assigned to him.

The state has about 56,000 booths under 224 Assembly constituencies. Every constituency has an average of 250 polling booths and each booth has its own voters' list. These voters' list run into 30-40 pages and each page has names of 20-30 voters. However, a cross-section of party functionaries and MLAs, with whom DH spoke to, are apprehensive on how this goal could be achieved. None of them wanted to be quoted. They point out that unlike Gujarat where the 'page pramukh' strategy was effectively put into play, Karnataka does not have that kind of spread of workers across the state. In fact, the party does not have a strong base in six districts - Chamarajnagar, Bengaluru (Rural), Ramanagaram, Mandya, Chikkaballapur and Hassan, where it could not even win one seat of the total 27 in the 2013 Assembly polls.

In Gujarat, the party has been in power for the last 21 years, which has resulted in building a strong cadre base, they said. Besides, the party won a majority of the gram panchayat and local bodies' seats, which helped in appointment of 'page pramukhs', but it is not the same case in Karnataka.

However, Shah has directed the state leaders to go ahead with the task and show results. The state unit is now planning to seek more time from Shah when he visits Bengaluru again on January 9 to review the poll preparedness of the party.

BJP sources said a call centre will soon be set up in Bengaluru to verify the identity and, update the database of booth committee chairpersons. Once this is done, Shah plans to have an interface with the chairpersons by holding conventions in seven zones of the state -Bengaluru, Mumbai-Karnataka, Hyderabad-Karnataka, Malnad, Coastal Karnataka, Central Karnataka and Old Mysuru region.

The chairpersons will be tasked with listing out caste composition of their area and identifying houses under 'A' 'B' or 'C' category. 'A' will mean that the family are BJP voters, 'B'  that they are floating voters and 'C' that they will not vote for the BJP at all.

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