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Strengthen BJP at the grassroots: PM Narendra Modi to cadre

Interacting by video-conference with cadre from five Lok Sabha seats, PM Narendra Modi also hit out at Congress and assured workers of BJP’s return to power.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2018 00:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,BJP,2019 elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with the ASHA, Anganwadi and ANM workers from all over the country through video conference, in New Delhi on September 11.(PTI Photo)

As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) begins preparations for the year-end elections in four states and the Lok Sabha polls next year, the party cadre have received a message from the Prime Minister -- to strengthen the organisation at the grassroots and ensure there is no let-up in engagement with the people.

Urging party workers on Thursday to follow the ‘Mera Booth Sabse Mazboot’ (My booth strongest) line, PM Narendra Modi said that though the wind was blowing in the BJP’s favour and opposition parties were banking on each other to withstand its force, there should be no laxity in preparations for the polls.

Interacting by video-conference with cadre from five Lok Sabha seats -- Rajasthan’s Jaipur (Rural), Uttar Pradesh’s Nawada and Ghaziabad, Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh and Arunachal Pradesh’s Arunachal West -- he said they should ensure that at least 20 families and youth work with the BJP in every polling booth.

The BJP is a cadre-based party that relies heavily on interactions at the booth level -- the smallest unit of the constituency -- to forge relations with the electorate.

Ahead of the elections, the cadre of the BJP along with those of its parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), are tasked with reaching out to the electorate to draw support.

The need to reinforce booth-level interactions was underlined after the BJP suffered losses in as many as eight Lok Sabha by-polls in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra earlier this year. Most of these losses, particularly that of Gorakhpur, the bastion of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, were attributed to the cadre’s complacency.

To prevent a repeat in the forthcoming elections, the PM on Thursday said the BJP’s biggest strength was its workers and their hard work had ensured the party’s success and progress in a short span of four years.

Replying to a question on opposition parties tying up for the 2019 polls, Modi --- he was nominated the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate this day in 2013 -- assured party workers that the BJP would win again.

“... the wind is blowing in favour of the BJP, even stronger than 2014. That’s why opposition parties are clutching each other’s hands to save themselves from being blown away,” he said.

Hitting out at the Congress, he said that unlike the BJP, it was a one-family party.

“In the BJP, responsibilities are given on the basis of work, not name,” he said.

The opposition was resorting to lies in its campaign, Modi claimed, but today the people in the country were awake while the opposition was not ready to come out of its slumber.

Ajay Gudavarthy, professor at the Centre for Political Studies, JNU, said the BJP was facing a crisis of strategy as it was not sure what to go to the polls with. “They have raised the aspirations of the people so much that they are not confident of going to polls on the basis of their accomplishments,” he said.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 00:14 IST