A day before Delhi goes to polls, the three main parties in the capital were busy drawing plans for the election day – training workers on polling booth management.
The BJP office was abuzz with preparations. Leaders were unanimous in their strategy for polling day — high voter turnout means more seats for the BJP.
The BJP and the RSS cadre came together on Wednesday to prepare voter slips. “We call voter slips a last-minute contact with the voter. The slips will have the candidate’s name and party symbol, apart form the PM nominee’s promises. This is to help voters decide. The slips will also have the booth number and venue of each voter on it,” Vijay Goel, incharge of the BJP’s booth management, said. Special training was given to BJP cadre to man sensitive booths as well.
“Every half an hour, a reminder through SMS will be sent to those who have not turned up to vote. The message will remind them that their vote is precious,” Goel said.
The party has divided its cadre into 20-men teams to take care of approximately 12,500 polling booths in the capital. “Every vote counts. More voting means more votes for the BJP and we expect to win all seven seats this Lok Sabha polls,” V K Malhotra, chairman of the Delhi BJP’s election campaign committee, said.
While the BJP has its booth management strategy down pat, the AAP is preparing for its first ever Lok Sabha voting day.
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Prior to the Delhi Assembly elections in December, polling booth management had been an uphill task for the AAP.
“We had no experience on how to fight elections. Our volunteers did not know what polling booth management was and, by the time we realised the importance of training them, we hardly had any time left,” a senior AAP leader said.
Having learnt from their ‘mistakes’, the AAP has trained volunteers and decentralised the process.
According to a campaign manager in East Delhi, a handful of co-ordinators in each constituency were trained at the party headquarters. “These co-ordinators have trained other volunteers at each vidhan sabha. Since Tuesday, we have been training volunteers on what is to be done on the election day. The process of polling booth management has been decentralised. There was a workshop at all vidhan sabha offices on Wednesday,” he said.
The Delhi Congress — after its defeat in the Assembly election — had admitted to a number of organisational flaws for their defeat.
For the Lok Sabha elections, senior Congress leaders said steps have been taken to ensure that such mistakes are not repeated.
“There will be 25 workers per polling station in each of the 11,735 stations in Delhi. Last time, there was a lot of confusion about where each worker was going to be. But this time, we have finalised everything in advance to iron out those problems,” Mukesh Sharma, spokesperson of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, said.
He added that each worker had been instructed to ensure that “they are in position” by 6 am.
Additionally, workers per booth have been given the task to follow up on voters to urge them to vote. “It’s important to ensure there is maximum turnout. Some people feel that polling day is merely a holiday. The party believes that this must change,” Sharma said.