Connect with grassroots, to be Cong's election mantra

Connect with grassroots, to be Cong's election mantra

The ruling Congress has drawn up a massive grassroots mobilisation plan ahead of the Assembly elections and, every leader has been assigned the responsibility of managing a booth.

The 'Namma Kshetra, Namma Hone' (Our Constituency, Our Responsibility) concept was unveiled on Tuesday at a day-long meeting of the party workers here.

"This is a massive exercise for the Karnataka Congress," AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal said. "From the chief minister to a grassroots worker, everyone has to supervise a booth."

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara, for instance, has been tasked with the management of a booth in the Koratagere Assembly constituency. "The booth where a leader votes is the booth that he or she will be responsible for. We have explained this new concept to our block committee presidents, district unit presidents and general secretaries," Parameshwara said.

The Congress' booth-level management seems like a counter to the BJP's Page Pramukh concept under which a leader is appointed for every page of the voters' list in a booth.

The entire February will see "an aggressive grassroots campaign," Venugopal said. "From February 15 to March 1, sub-groups of the booth-level committees will visit households and collect voter details. This will be reported to the constituency-level committees and then to the KPCC. From March 1-20, all top leaders will tour the state in a bus. By mid-March, our pre-election campaign will be over," he said.

The Congress is also preparing a data bank of all booth-level workers. Former Union minister P Chidambaram, who is AICC general secretary in-charge of booth committees, is slated to arrive in Bengaluru on February 2 for a review.

EVM misuse

Booth-level workers have been cautioned about possible misuse of the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

"At the booth-level, the Election Commission will hold mock polling. Once that is done, the EVM has to be reset and sealed off. If the EVM is not reset, votes cast during the mock polls will add to actual votes, which could lead to unfair results. We had experts demonstrate this to our party workers," Parameshwara said.

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