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BJP has started the process of selection of candidates for 2017 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. For the purpose, it has engaged three separate teams to identify “promising” aspirants during party’s ongoing pre-poll campaign ‘Parivartan Yatra’.
The teams comprise volunteers from BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and members of a social organisation ‘Surya Foundation’. Among others the teams are keeping a watch on activity and involvement of each ticket aspirant during the ‘Parivartan Yatra’ and preparing reports. The reports would be submitted to the state party unit that would further forward it to the central leadership.
BJP has launched four Parivartan Yatras —- from Saharanpur on November 5, Jhansi on November 6, Sonbhadra on November 8 and Ballia on November 9. Each of the four yatras will travel across the state covering all Assembly constituencies before concluding in Lucknow on December 24. Senior party leaders and Union ministers are addressing public meetings en route these yatras. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his first public meeting as part of Parivarta Yatra in Ghazipur on Monday.
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Sources said that state unit has engaged at least 12 workers in every district for the survey at party level. Volunteers move on proposed routes of yatra a day before it reaches an Assembly constituency.
These volunteers talk to public and ask them whether they have been informed about the arrival of BJP yatra and its programme. They seek feedback about ticket aspirants whether they are active in the area and had run any campaigns in villages.
Some volunteers move with the yatra and keep watch on crowd to assess the mass following of ticket seekers as supporters arrive with placards and posters of their leaders. The volunteers also videograph the events.
The volunteers again canvass the area a day after the yatra seeking feedback from people and asking them about winnable candidates from their respective Assembly constituencies. Once the yatra leaves a division, the volunteers send their report about the ticket seekers to party state general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal who further forwards it to party national general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal, sources said.
Sources further said that RSS volunteers attending ‘shakahas’ have been engaged in the survey in every district. These volunteers conduct similar survey for aspiring candidates and submit their report to Zila Pracharak. Their report too is forwarded to Ram Lal through BJP’s national joint general secretary (organisation) Shiv Prakash.
Sources in BJP also said that volunteers of ‘Surya Foundation’ too keep watch on crowd at public meetings during yatras and collect the feedback about popularity of aspirants. They too submit their report to “At least 30 to 40 volunteers in separate teams of these three organisations —- RSS, BJP and Surya Foundation —- are working in any district at any time,” claimed a senior BJP leader.
“There are minimum 10 ticket seekers from every Assembly segment. But, barely five-six come out as promising. At present, their strength and mass following are being checked through the survey,” said the party leader. BJP has planned 36 major public meetings during the yatra and success of these public meetings will depend upon the crowd arranged by these ticket seekers.