Amit Shah’s plan to ride on smartphone voters, bikers for votes in 2019 polls
Booth management is central to the BJP’s election strategy and its chief Amit Shah is touring every state to review the party’s preparedness for the 2019 election.india Updated: Jul 01, 2018 07:46 IST
Compiling a list of smartphone-carrying voters and deploying at least five motorbike-riding party workers in each polling station and poaching workers from rival parties – these are part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “booth plan” for the 2019 general election.
The ruling party has finalised a 22-point action plan to win over new supporters and reinforce its existing strength at the polling station level, two BJP leaders familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity .
“This is keeping the next year’s parliamentary election in mind,” the first leader said. “We are leaving nothing to chance.”
Booth management is central to the BJP’s election strategy and its chief Amit Shah is touring every state to review the party’s preparedness for the 2019 election. Starting with Chhattisgarh on June 10, Shah is to visit each state by the end of July, the second BJP leader said, adding: “The booth plan has been shared with each state unit and they have been asked to start working on it.”
The “to do” list include grading booths under the “A, B, C & D” categories. An A category booth would be one in which most of the votes were cast in favour of the BJP in the last election, while D would be one in which the BJP got the least votes. Responsibility for management of D category polling stations will be assigned to grassroots workers and C to officer bearers.
“At the outset, this is an initiative to activate the cadres and BJP’s ideological co-travellers,” said Sidharth Mishra, president of the Centre for Reforms, Development and Justice, a think tank. “But in the face of a united opposition, the effectiveness of this plan will only be feasible if the messages are taken in the right spirit by voters in each of these booths.”
The booth plan asks office bearers at the mandal level – the lowest administrative unit in the BJP’s organisational hierarchy – to be assigned 5 booths each, and efforts will be made to convert the “D” category booth into “C” through “certain activities”.
At the organisation level, the BJP will carry out verification of the polling list in every booth, and enrol at least 20 new members from the socially marginalised scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.
“Of them at least 2-3 should be those who can keep the booth ‘alive’. At least six events should be conducted every month at booth level and arrangements should be made for people to listen to the Prime Minister’s monthly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat,” reads the booth plan, a copy of which has been reviewed by HT.
Each BJP unit at the booth level has to share with the state unit the mobile phone numbers of workers in that polling station and prepare a list of voters who carry smart phones.
“Technology is going to play a major role in next election. It will be an advantage to us if we have the details of all such voters at booth level, to whom we can connect technologically,” the first leader said. Every booth unit has been asked to paint “lotus” – the BJP’s election symbol – at five places in their area and also connect with winning and losing candidates of the gram panchayats.
“Remain in touch with booth level workers of other parties and enroll them into BJP,” suggests the booth plan. The local units have also been advised to enrol two to three members from local cooperatives, dairies, non-government organisations and other such bodies.
First Published: Jul 01, 2018 07:31 IST