Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018: BJP relies on RSS to reach out to farmers
One of the key appeals is to people not to opt for NOTA while casting their vote. The functionary said RSS volunteers have been tasked with convincing voters upset with sitting BJP legislators that if even if they merely vote against the party, they would be playing into the hands of the Congress.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has galvanised cadres of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for election campaign in Madhya Pradesh to woo farmers, after an assessment that the party is not getting positive feedback from several parts of the state, senior RSS functionaries here have said.
The RSS is reaching out to farmers and promising farm loan relief and creating awareness among voters, one senior RSS functionary, who did not wish to be identified, said.
One of the key appeals is to people not to opt for NOTA while casting their vote. The functionary said RSS volunteers have been tasked with convincing voters upset with sitting BJP legislators that if even if they merely vote against the party, they would be playing into the hands of the Congress. “We are trying to convince people by meeting heads of the families with a request to them to bail out the BJP this time... ” said the above quoted RSS functionary. The organisation is particularly worried about the Congress’s poll promise that it would not allow the RSS to conduct its ‘shakhas’ on government land, if it comes to power.
“We are creating awareness among voters about the Congress promising to ban RSS shakas on government land,” the functionary said. He said the RSS runs its shakhas mostly on govt land. Any ban as promised by the Congress would impact “social” functioning of the organisation, he said.
Another RSS office-bearer said volunteers are also telling people the next BJP government would take care of their loans. This is to combat the Congress poll promise of waiving farm loans of up to ₹2 lakh within 10 days of coming to power in election bound states.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh also touched on the issue at an election rally in Khandwa district, pointing out that the Congress has not waived the loan of a single farmer in Punjab or Karnataka.
State Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta said, “BJP seeking help of the RSS in elections is nothing new. It knows that without spreading hatred in society in the name of caste, community and religion, it cannot win elections. But we are confident that they will not be able to mislead voters.”
State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal merely said the BJP was contesting “as it was doing in the previous elections.”
Ashok Pandey, a Sah Sanghchalak of RSS in Madhya Pradesh, said the RSS is getting in touch with people in “national interest”.
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(With input from Anupam Pateriya in Sagar)