As the BJP makes a final push for power in Delhi, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has decided to send in reinforcements. With a week of campaign time left, an army of volunteers from Sangh-affiliated bodies are set to tap voters in their homes, parents in schools, joggers in parks and bombard them on email and WhatsApp in the coming days.
This comes just a day after the BJP pulled out all the stops by deploying 120 MPs for its campaign for the February 7 polls, and amid surveys claiming the party was neck and neck with a resurgent Aam Aadmi Party.
‘Mission Delhi’, sources said, was launched after a meeting at the RSS headquarter on Monday where it was decided that all allied organisations — including students’ wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), trade union wing Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh, Sewa Bharti and Vidya Bharti — would mobilise voters across Delhi.
“Sarsanghchalak ji (RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat) in his Vijaya-dashami address in Nagpur urged all swayamsevaks to ensure 100% polling in favour of the political party with a nationalistic vision. In the Delhi elections, the RSS and its allied organisations are mobilising one lakh volunteers to do this. This is in addition to the BJP workers and volunteers,” said Rajiv Tully, RSS prant prachaar pramukh for Delhi.
An RSS functionary said the BJP had received similar help from its ideological parent during last year’s Lok Sabha elections too.
Vidya Bharti, which runs 40 schools in the city, has asked its management to woo parents, the sources said.
“There are approximately 2,000 children in each of these schools and teachers will hold meetings with parents and mobilise them to support a nationalist party like the BJP,” said an RSS functionary.
The Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh has 80 affiliated unions — including auto and taxi unions, industrial worker unions — and more than 300,000 members who will hold corner meetings to mobilise voters.
Autorickshaw drivers had played a crucial role in AAP’s spectacular showing in the 2013 polls, and the RSS hasn’t forgotten this.
Meanwhile, Sewa Bharti will target the city’s poor — largely seen as pro-AAP — through its welfare work in all the city’s slums.
“They have a number of libraries, private coaching and vocational training centres and they have asked all of their workers to make slum-dwellers aware of anti-national parties and how they will harm them in the long run,” said a senior BJP leader.
The ABVP, with 45,000 members in Delhi, a majority of them students, will mobilise the youth by organising street plays and corner meetings.
That apart, the RSS’ own khaki-clad volunteers will go door-to-door canvassing for the BJP.