BJP to reach out to minorities, Dalits in Uttarakhand as part of Lok Sabha poll strategy
Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the BJP’s Uttarakhand unit is set to chalk out the next phase of its campaign strategy under which its frontal organisations will be mobilised to reach out to all sections of society, including Dalits, farmers, youth, tribals and minorities.
“Hundreds of workers associated with our party’s all seven frontal organisations will carry out an intensive campaign to reach out to all sections of society,” BJP state unit general secretary Naresh Bansal said on Monday, adding the fortnight long campaign would continue till March end.
“During that period our party workers will publicise the pro-poor schemes introduced by our government at the Centre among all sections of society,” he said.
Bansal said workers belonging to all seven wings of the BJP’s state unit catering to women, youth, Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), minorities and farmers would be involved in the election campaign.
The party will chalk out the programmes in an organisational meeting to be held in Dehradun on March 12. The day-long meeting will be attended by BJP national joint general secretary (organisation) Shiv Prakash and the party’s state in-charge for the Lok Sabha polls Thavar Chand Gehlot.
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and all senior leaders of the party’s state unit will also attend the meeting.
As part of those programmes conventions would be organised across the state for different sections of society. “In these conventions our party workers will explain in detail a series of pro-poor schemes introduced by the central government for each segment of society,” he said referring to women, youths, SCs, STs, OBCs, farmers and tribals.
“The activity aims to expand our mass-base among all sections of society ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.”
Sharing programme details, Bansal said a convention each would be organised in all the 70 assembly seats for the SC and Dalit communities. Similarly, district wise conventions would be organised for women, youths and other communities.
Referring to conventions to be organised for Dalits, he said during such interactions they would be explained that the Central government had developed ‘Panch Tirths’ or five pilgrimage centres associated with Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar.
“They will also be reminded that the Dalit leader was conferred the prestigious Bharat Ratna posthumously under the BJP regime,” Bansal said.
“We will also tell them that the Congress conferred no such honour on the Dalit icon despite having ruled the country for decades since Independence,” he said drawing strong rebuttal from the opposition party.
MD Joshi, chief spokesperson of the Congress state unit, accused the ruling party of playing vote bank politics over the Dalit icon. “Why do they forget that he authored the constitution when the Congress was ruling the country?” he said referring to Ambedkar.
Joshi also accused the BJP of failing to clear the backlog of vacancies in government departments meant for Dalits.
Bansal, however, said Dalits would also be informed about all pro-poor centrally funded schemes such as ‘Jan Dhan’, Ujjawala (under which free cooking gas connections are distributed) and Saubhagya (electrification of rural areas) were meant for them.
Similarly, OBCs would be told that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ensured that the OBC Commission got constitutional validity.
And in conventions to be organised for farmers they would be briefed about Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman (PM-KISAN) Yojna under which they “are given financial assistance of Rs 6000 they need for sowing all three seasonal crops namely Rabi, Kharif and Zaid”.
“They will also be briefed about the interest free loans of ₹1 lakh and ₹5 lakh each being given by the state government to individual farmers and farmer groups respectively.”
Some 70% Muslim women availed loans under the Mudra loan scheme, Bansal said adding minority communities also availed of all other schemes like Ujjawala and Saubhagya.
Congress spokesperson Joshi dubbed all such claims as baseless. “All pro-poor schemes they (BJP) brag about are the recycled versions of the schemes that were introduced by the previous UPA regime.”