Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will lead a team of 10,000 party workers, including ministers and elected members, in the party’s expansion drive where it is mandatory to visit villages for 14 days at a stretch. The programme, titled ‘Vistar’ (expansion) and ‘Samvad’ (communication), will be completed between May 26 and June 10.
The objective is to cover all 40,913 villages, encompassing 90,000 booths that are the party’s electoral unit. To ensure that MLAs, ministers and workers take the exercise seriously, the Centre-state leadership has warned those assigned with definite villages against being complacent as their work would be assessed seriously and will count in their political career ahead.
A senior BJP functionary said: “In BJP, there is no question of a long summer break. When you see the all India party president, Amit Shah, embarking on a 90-day tour (he will not be home for three months), hopping states to review organisational work, how can the state party remain a spectator?”
Another reason behind the drive is the failure of the state BJP to connect to the masses. Last year, through a digital drive, almost 1.10 crore new members had been enrolled into the party but the Centre’s directives to the state unit to establish personal contact with those enrolled remained unattended. The party, led by state BJP president Raosaheb Danve, could connect with only 30 per cent of the 1.10 crore people.
Danve said: “From the CM to the elected members and workers, all will visit villages for 14 days as part of the party’s expansion and communication drive.”
Although the central BJP has allowed the chief ministers and other ministers to take a day’s break to enable them to return to the party headquarters for administrative work or cabinet meetings, insiders indicated that Fadnavis was unlikely to avail the concession. Each of the elected MLAs and ministers will be assigned a group of villages to be covered outside their own constituencies for informal interactions with villagers in the middle of a farm or in the hamlets. The two-way communication between the BJP workers and villagers is aimed to apprise them of the government policies and also understand problems of the villagers.
Indications are that the focus of the communication will be on agricultural issues and other rural problems, including infrastructure like roads, power
Through these exercises, villagers would be apprised of the slew of schemes undertaken by the government, including water conservation, double agriculture income, group farming model, agriculture electric pump connectivity, agro-industries, BHIM Aap and digital transformation, among others.
In another administrative drive to review government schemes and its shortcomings, the CM has started a taluka-wise review, covering at least two to three districts a day. The exercise undertaken in the last week of April will conclude on May 24. Till now, the districts covered include Wardha, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Akola, Gondia and Bhandara.