BJP sets up war room for BMC poll battle | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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BJP sets up war room for BMC poll battle

From undertaking ward wise surveys to identify electoral issues to opinion polls, all kinds of data crunching will be done before the BJP’s electoral strategy is finalised by this team

mumbai Updated: Aug 10, 2016 15:49 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

A team of social media experts, information technology professionals and statisticians has started manning an election war room based on Malabar Hill for the BJP has it prepares for a full scale assault to capture Mumbai civic body in the polls due next February.

From undertaking ward wise surveys to identify electoral issues to opinion polls, all kinds of data crunching will be done before the BJP’s electoral strategy is finalised by this team.

The war room will also help plan for elections to 26 zilla parishads, 297 panchayat samitis and eight other big civic corporations due between October 2016 and March 2017.

“The electoral strategy will be finalised based on data that we get from the war room. This is also how we had contested the 2014 polls when surveys had even been held to finalise candidates for every seat based on the perception about the ability to win,” admitted a senior party functionary.

For the BMC elections, past civic and assembly election data will be anaylsed along with ward wise data on socio-economic indicators and community-wise break-up of the voters to decide which seats the party should focus on. The party is also looking at a campaign to get fence-sitters to participate in the civic polls and vote in favour of the BJP.

While it has been decided that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will be projected as the face of the BMC campaign, the war room will come out with a strategy for the CM’s campaign – including social media outreach -- that will focus on Mumbai’s development specifically on infrastructure projects that will change the daily life of the common man.

Fadnavis had also used the war room in 2015 after the government completed one year in power to popularise and publicise government schemes and policy decisions taken in one year of BJP rule in the state.

With a delimitation exercise set to alter the ward make up in Mumbai, surveys will become all the more essential for the BJP, which has so far played second fiddle to the Sena in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), where it has just 32 seats now to the ally’s 75..

In 2017, however, the BJP is hoping to wrest the civic body from the Sena or more than double this tally in the richest civic body in the country.

The war room is led by BJP MLA and developer Mangal Prabhat Lodha and party spokesperson and IT professional Shweta Shalini, who is considered to be a close Fadnavis aide.