Ahead of LS polls, BJP to play 'cricket' to lure young voters

The BJP is planning to ‘bowl and bat’ to strike a chord with young voters ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Come January, the party’s youth wing will host cricket tournaments in districts across the country. 

The national winners will be presented the ‘champions trophy’ by Narendra Modi, the party’s prime ministerial candidate. The strategy is to use the nation’s favourite sport to reach out to the youth and share with them the party’s ideology and poll plank for the Lok Sabha election. 

In Karnataka, the BJP’s Yuva Morcha has been gearing up to host the tournament, christened ‘Khelege Yuva Jeetega Bharat’ in all the 30 districts. “We are planning to start the registration soon. Teams wishing to play throughout the tournament can register once we announce the dates,” said P Muniraju, president of BJP’s State Yuva Morcha. 

Anurag Thakur, the national president of BJP Yuva Morcha, has convened a meeting of youth wings of all states in New Delhi on December 19 to discuss the modalities for hosting the tournament. The BJP plans to launch the tournament across the country on January 12, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. 

The party’s State unit had started identifying playgrounds for holding the matches, Muniraju said. The matches will be held under round robin and knockout formats. 

“We plan to conduct the matches in four to five grounds in each district. As it will be a 20-20 tournament, three to four matches can he played every day in each ground. The winning teams from every district will play each other and we will eventually have a State winner, which will represent Karnataka at the national level”, Muniraju said. 

Thakur, who is also the president of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association and the joint secretary of Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI), plans to hold inter-state finals in his home state, wherein the winning teams from each state will participate. Modi will attend the national finals and present the cup to the national champions. 

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