Eye on polls, BJP asks workers to begin reaching out to residents in ‘outer’ areas
With the ULB polls due in April next year, the BJP has asked its workers to start contacting locals in the newly-incorporated areas and convey to them the benefits of merging rural areas into the urban onesUpdated: Nov 29, 2017 21:18 IST
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started the process to reach out to residents in the ‘outer’ or rural areas adjoining cities that have recently been made part of municipal bodies even as the Congress still seems to be in a ‘denial mode’ over the expansion of urban local body (ULB) areas.
With the ULB polls due in April next year, the BJP has asked its workers to start contacting locals in the newly-incorporated areas and convey to them the benefits of merging rural areas into the urban ones.
The state government has carried out expansion of 42 ULBs by merging nearby villages into their municipal limits. The decision to amalgamate panchayat body areas into ULBs, however, had sparked off angry protests in many parts of the state.
“We have asked party leaders and workers to reach out the locals in these (newly added) areas to explain how this (inclusion) will open gates for development in their areas as huge funds have been earmarked by the government for urbanization in such belts,” state BJP president Ajay Bhatt told HT.
Besides, party workers have also been asked to ensure that residents in the newly added village areas were a part of the voters’ list. “Party workers will assist those whose names are not in the list to be enrolled as voters. Special attention would be paid on roping in youngsters who are set to become first time voters,” Dehradun mayor Vinod Chamoli, who is also a lawmaker representing the Dharampur constituency of the state capital, said.
The state Congress, which has vehemently opposed the government’s move to merge rural areas with urban ones, meanwhile, lashed out at the BJP for having failed to take locals into confidence before planning the expansion of local bodies. “This (BJP’s activity in outer areas) only goes on to prove how this entire exercise was politically motivated,” Mathura Dutt Joshi, chief spokesperson of the Uttarakhand Congress, said. He, however, denied that the Congress was in a “denial mode”. “The whole organization is gearing up for the local body polls and we will give a befitting reply to the BJP in April 2018,” Joshi told HT.
First Published: Nov 29, 2017 21:18 IST