Indian Express

BJP men raise voters’ pledge for Modi via mobile

The party’s 'Kamal Vijay Yatra' focused essentially on registering voters on their mobile phone. Tweet This
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The party’s 'Kamal Vijay Yatra' focused essentially on registering voters on their mobile phone. (Reuters) The party’s 'Kamal Vijay Yatra' focused essentially on registering voters on their mobile phone. (Reuters)

Sarika Rathod of Navi Dhara colony in Vadodara’s Nagarwadi locality had voted for BJP in the last two elections. But this time, she will vote directly for the party’s prime ministerial candidate, who is contesting from this Lok Sabha seat that has over 15 lakh voters.

But it was not until a group of little over a dozen party workers visited her house during their door-to-door campaign, did she pledge to vote for the party using her mobile phone.

On Sunday, as party workers fanned out across the city to mark the party’s foundation day, they did not just ask people to vote for Modi, but also asked them to give a missed call on “78200-78200” from their mobile phones to register themselves as BJP voters.

As BJP’s campaign turns aggressive with each passing day, Sunday offered the party an opportunity to increase the tally of voters who have submitted their voter’s ID card number with a pledge to vote for the party. An exercise that is being carried out across the country — pledging votes for the BJP using their mobile phone — has only reached just over 20 lakh people across the country, with Gujarat having only 2 lakh such voters. Of this, Vadodara accounts for only 5 per cent or around 10,000 voters.

In the system that was launched long before the party announced Modi as its candidate from Vadodara, voters here have apparently not cared much about using their mobile phone for this purpose. The party’s “Kamal Vijay Yatra”, launched on the party’s foundation day, focused essentially on registering voters on their mobile phone, with party workers seen asking voters to dial the number given to them or assisting them in doing so.

“We have always supported the BJP, but did not know of the system in which we have to register our votes using our mobile phones. We have done so just a while ago,” Rathod said.

As soon as someone among the party workers made a call on the number registered for the purpose, she received an SMS seeking her voter’s id card number. As per an automated instruction received via an SMS, she typed her voter’s id card number, left a space and then typed her mobile number and sent it across to the given number. Now, whenever someone calls her, she will get to hear, “Modi aane wala hai,” a song sung by famous Bollywood singer, Udit Narayan.

“As we plan to ensure a record vote margin win for Modi, we also need to ensure that the highest number of mobile support comes from Vadodara. The foundation day programme included this.

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