Congress to replicate BJP’s booth level poll model for MP
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Congress to replicate BJP’s booth level poll model for MP

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has finalised the list of coordinators — a link between booth-level workers and party office bearers — who will immediately be deployed throughout Madhya Pradesh, which goes to polls in November-December.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2018 22:39 IST
BJP poll management,Bharatiya Janata Party,Congress
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia with party leaders at a road show ahead of the Kolaras bypoll in Madhya Pradesh in February.(PTI File Photo)

In a bid to replicate the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s model of election management, the Congress has decided to form a four-layered structure in Madhya Pradesh to strengthen booth-level organisation in the poll-bound state, a party leader familiar with the plan said on Tuesday.

According to the pilot project,the new structure will have coordinators who will serve as a link between booth-level workers and the party’s office bearers, the leader added.

As many as 12 coordinators will be appointed to supervise poll management in all the 230 constituencies, the leader said adding that each coordinator will be assigned 20 constituencies.

Booth-level micro management is considered key to winning elections and the cadre-based BJP has effectively used a voter-mobilisation strategy to its advantage in recent years.

The Congress has suffered a series of electoral setbacks in states primarily due to a weak organisational structure at the grassroots level.

With Rahul Gandhi at the helm, the grand old party now plans to beat the BJP at its own game by replicating the model in other poll-bound states before implementing it on a wider scale in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress has been out of power since 2003. Digvijaya Singh was the Congress’ last chief minister. MP along with Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram will go to polls in November-December.

Congress leadership had divested general secretary Mohan Prakash of the charge of Madhya Pradesh and appointed Deepak Babaria in his place in September 2017. Hailing from Gujarat, Babaria is considered to be a close confidant of Gandhi.

Prakash had come under severe criticism over his style of working. State leaders had repeatedly complained to the party high command of his failure to revive the party’s fortunes in Madhya Pradesh.

Two secretaries — Zubair Khan and Sanjay Kapoor — are assisting Babaria and two more will soon be appointed for effective implementation of the new project, said the leader.

Gandhi has also finalised the list of coordinators who will immediately be deployed throughout the state, the leader added. State leaders have also requested the party’s research department, headed by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda, to identify key issues at each booth in a constituency. That research will then be incorporated in the Congress’ micro-level poll strategy and also find a mention in the manifesto, the leader said.

Including the views of the people in its manifesto has become a critical element of the party’s election strategy since Gandhi implemented it for the first time in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In Karnataka which goes to polls in April-May, the party named state, district, assembly and booth-level social media coordinators who will not have a role in ground-level poll management.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 22:39 IST