For the past three weeks, ‘7000 MLAs’ of Harda assembly constituency, about 115km south of the capital, have been on a campaign overdrive to ensure the BJP wins the seat for the fifth time in a row, even though the party is yet to declare its candidate.
Surprised? Don’t be. Kamal Patel (52), the sitting BJP MLA of the constituency, has gone to town advertising his army and putting it at the forefront of his campaign strategy for the upcoming assembly polls.
Patel, a former minister, has put in place an interesting three-tier structure of party workers with one in charge for each of the over 6,600 pages of the voters’ list. “This way I have around 7,000 MLAs working in my constituency, who would not only ensure votes for the party during the election, but also take care of people’s issues later,” Patel said while talking to HT during his visit to the Masangaon village, about 20km from Harda town, recently.
Patel’s team will ensure that most of the 1.98 lakh-odd voters of the constituency, especially BJP supporters, arrive at the polling booths on the day of voting (November 25) and exercise their franchise. Each page of the voters list includes around 30 voters and the cadres are supposed to contact each voter daily till election time and win over the non-supporters.
The work of these ‘page in-charge’ workers would be supervised by around 250 polling booth level in-charge, who in turn, would reporting to the MLA himself and his trusted lieutenants.
This is to ensure that by the time the party announces the candidate, his public relation drive, started two weeks ago, would be over and his ‘MLAs’ in the thick of action. “My campaign is up and about. I have no doubts or worries about my fifth win,” said Patel brimming with confidence.
Like other sitting MLAs of the ruling party, Patel is up agaisnt a stiff opposition from local leaders and party workers but he dismisses it as the action of frustrated leaders repeatedly defeated in polls at different levels. “I have won the hearts and confidence of my electorate by my work, I do not need to win over anyone else,” Patel said.