Ideological fount of the BJP, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will not only campaign for the party in the states going to polls in 2017, but will also reach out to registered voters of the election-bound states, living elsewhere.
As the BJP gears for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand, the RSS has charted a plan that will see volunteers reach out to those voters who live in metropolitan cities, but are expected to travel to their home states to cast their votes.
For instance, over the next few weeks, volunteers of the RSS will fan out across JJ clusters in the national capital to ensure the targets of Centre’s health, education and skill development programmes are aware of the schemes and benefitting from them.
A senior functionary of the RSS asserts that the programme has not been conceived with an eye on the elections; but the identified area--localities in the North East of Delhi-- home to thousands of migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is clear giveaway of its intent.
Christened ‘setu’ (bridge) the programme will entail RSS workers reaching out to over 10,000 families in 25 such localities over the next two years, listing out centrally-sponsored schemes such as the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, which provides food, preschool education, and primary healthcare to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.
“Karyakartas (volunteers) will be divided into groups of five, which will have at least two women, and one member between 18-25. These groups will have pockets allotted to them where they will oversee whether the mid day meals are being provided, immunisation is being offered and if there are people in need of skill development,” said a functionary of the Delhi unit.
The RSS is hopeful that its overtures will win over these migrant voters, when UP goes to polls early next year. The Setu programme is in addition to the canvassing the RSS volunteers will do for the party in the poll-bound states.
Under its samajik samarasta (social harmony) campaign, the RSS will also reach out to the so-called lower castes this Diwali. RSS karyakartas will meet 6,000 opinion makers across sections, including the Dalits on the festive occasion.