BJP to up poll game at grass-roots level

BJP to up poll game at grass-roots level

Party plans mega SC/ST outreach for 2019 battle

BJP president Amit Shah during a BJP OBC Morcha Sammelan in Pali, Rajasthan, on Sunday. PTI

Remain in regular contact with the Sangh Parivar. Get in touch with heads and priests of mutts, temples and ashrams in the region... These and much more constitute the 24-point action plan put forth by the BJP to win the 2019 electoral battle.

The action plan, which comes after the BJP’s national executive, also brings out the party’s clear focus on Hindutva and social engineering among intermediary backward classes and SC/ST ahead of the crucial polls.

The one-page action plan comes at a time when the party is going to town about its commitment to protect the interests of backward classes. The BJP has cited its quick action to undo a Supreme Court order that “diluted” the provisions of the SC/ST Act and its decision to accord constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The action plan advises party workers to make “20 new members from SC/ST” in every booth (10 each from SC/ST and 10 from OBC.

The first point, in fact, recommends “constituting the booth according to the social structure (Samajik Rachana) of the booth”, which is an indication of social engineering that the ruling party wants to penetrate at the grass roots in Uttar Pradesh, where it encounters stiff challenge from caste leaders such as Mulayam Singh Yadav-Akhilesh Yadav on the one hand and Mayawati on the other.

As the BJP banks high on technology, the 24-point ‘Booth Working Plan (Booth Karya Yojana)’ for Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats, asks workers to make a list of “smartphone holders in every booth” and form a WhatsApp group of each sector.

The plan has come at a time when the social media has become a potent campaign tool for parties for collecting information as well as getting their message across. Clearly, after brainstorming, the BJP has hit the ground zero with elaborate plans to boost outreach and tone up its organisational network to achieve the target as declared by party chief Amit Shah — of winning 2019 parliamentary polls with a wider margin than that of 2014 when it had won 282 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats, becoming the first party to have formed a government on its own.

Making contacts with NGOs and members of Self Help Groups (SHGs), and enrolling them as BJP members, making a list of five youths who have bikes in every booth, painting ‘lotus’ at five places in every booth are the other suggestions.

There are 9 lakh 30 thousand booths in the country as per the last general election figure.

If the BJP achieves its target, it can have an impressive list 46.5 lakh bike-riding supporters and an equal amount of smartphone holders who could give huge mobility, both physical and digital, to its campaign.

The outreach plan also advises workers to contact “members of other parties”, make them members of BJP and “contact all winning and losing sarpanches” in every village panchayat and enrolling them, contact primary agricultural credit societies (PACS), dairies, cooperative banks and cooperative organisations and enrolling them.

These institutions deal with a large number of people and are the bedrock of rural economy. The party apparently wants to leverage its strength in meeting its political goal.

Addressing workers of Lok Sabha constituencies in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh via the NaMo app, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told them this week that the BJP's biggest strength is its workers.

“Mera booth sabse mazboot' (my polling booth, the strongest)... this is the only mantra and this is our strength," he said and asked them to continuously interact with voters and ensure that at least 20 families and youth are working with the party in every booth.

The booth in-charges will also make arrangements for people to listen to PM’s Mann Ki Baat every Sunday.

At the two-day national meet of the BJP, party chief Amit Shah had said, “We will contest 2019 on the basis of our organisation’s strengths and the achievements of the Narendra Modi government.”


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