Beefing up its campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, local BJP teams donning ‘Modi For PM’ caps will soon start a door-to-door campaign to collect donations in a coconut-shaped piggy bank. Desperate to improve its Lok Sabha tally, the BJP has set itself the target of winning all 26 seats in the state.
The bottoms-up approach will thus focus on every booth in any given constituency, instead of huge public gatherings. So, instead of big budgeted rallies, the BJP this time is heavily relying on intense ground-level campaigning to keep contact with voters across the state.
Given the past two LS elections result, the BJP knows it may not be a cakewalk even in Gujarat. Not withstanding its impressive performance in Assembly elections since 1996, the BJP has little to cheer in LS even under the leadership of Modi in the last decade. It bagged only 14 seats in 2004 and improved its tally by 1 in 2009.
The party claims to have added at least 20 lakh new members, and is now set to go in for several rounds of door-to-door campaigns which includes various innovative ground-level activities starting from Ek note Kamal Pe Vote, to Kamal Mehndi and flag distribution. The BJP has also appointed a president for every page on the electoral roll to remain in constant touch with 10 to 15 voters listed on that particular page.
“Let’s ensure that we win our booth. This is how we should approach this election. It is the only right and cheapest way to ensure a victory’’, said Modi at a recent Karyakarta sammellan in Gandhinagar.
For nearly 44,000 elections booth across Gujarat, the BJP already has a dedicated committee for more than 42,000 booths. “We do not have committees for some 1,200 to 1,700 booths, but that will soon be taken care of,” said BJP Gujarat in-charge Om Mathur. BJP workers, mostly members of Yuva Morcha(Youth Wing), will distribute party flags in every home in the booth under their jurisdiction. “We will ask residents to hoist the flag on their terrace,” said a senior BJP leader.
The party is also preparing lotus-shaped plastic moulds to be used for applying instant mehndi designs. While the initial idea was to do the lotus henna only on women’s hand, Modi mooted the idea to include men also as in many communities men also go for temporary imprints. “Even men apply mehndi. If they agree, lets apply kamal mehndi on their hands too,” Modi said at the same Karyakarta sammellan. On the other hand, page presidents, with printouts in hand, are mugging up all details of a small set of voters that they are responsible for.