Sushma hits campaign road, without a mention of Modi

Swaraj’s message is similar to the one she gave when she began meeting party workers immediately after the polls were announced.

Vidisha | Published:March 26, 2014 2:21 am

If you were a BJP worker in Sushma Swaraj’s constituency, you’d probably wonder if the party really believed in either the “Narendra Modi wave” or his ambitious “Mission 272+”.

In campaign speeches and meetings with party workers, the Leader of Opposition and MP from Vidisha does not mention her party’s prime ministerial candidate. Instead, she talks of “Mission 29”, a reference to the number of Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, where she shifted her political base a few years ago, and to the popularity of its chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

“I am not here to give a political speech. You need two things to win an election: an atmosphere favourable for the party, and booth-level structure,” she told party workers in separate conventions in Gyaraspur and Ganj-Basoda in Vidisha on Tuesday, stressing how a favourable atmosphere had helped the BJP win a third straight election in the state recently.

She also talks about increasing her margin of victory from the 3.89 lakh of 2009 to over 4 lakh this time, because of the huge psychological boost it would bring. Vidisha must hold the flag and lead the procession, she says.

Swaraj’s message is similar to the one she gave when she began meeting party workers immediately after the polls were announced. She was hoping to address by Wednesday the last of her booth-level workers’ gatherings in the eight assembly segments that make up the Lok Sabha constituency, reaching the target of getting in touch with 50,000 workers.

If Swaraj does not name Modi, she does not name her Congress rival, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh’s younger brother Laxman Singh, either. In the hoardings that provide the backdrop to her gatherings, Chouhan gets the same prominence as her. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajnath Singh, Modi and state BJP chief Narendra Tomar get equal space, which is less than what is occupied by Chouhan and her.

On the hoardings, the only message is “Sansad me sashakat aawaz, Sushma Swaraj”; the only slogan, “Desh ka neta kaisa ho, Sushma Swaraj jaisa ho”.

Swaraj shares a seven-step manual with workers, coining a new expression, “Page prabhari” (worker in charge of one page of the voters’ list). The page prabhari will devote two to three hours on seven separate days over the next month (Vidisha votes on April 24) during which he or she will visit every assigned voter, plant party flags at their homes (“Don’t forget to take written permission,” she cautions) and update the voters’ list. On the day of voting, the page prabhari will take the voter to the polling booth.

Poll fever is yet to catch on strongly in this constituency spread over four districts. A couple of posters in Vidisha town announce “Ab ki bar Modi sarkar”, but elsewhere in the constituency, posters and hoardings from the recent assembly elections are yet to be replaced.

While Swaraj skips Modi, workers say they won’t. “We will use all three names — Modi, Swaraj and Shivraj. No restrictions apply to us,” Mahesh Vishwakarma, a worker from Pachma village, said after the Ganj-Basoda convention.

“Workers talk about Modi, and want him at the helm of affairs. But we will first highlight the failures of the central government, then the achievements of the Shivraj Singh government, and then name individuals,” Mukesh Soni, a block-level functionary in Gyaraspur said.

Swaraj explains to workers why they are important: “Bade neta to milte rahte hain (one keeps meeting big leaders), but I bow before you because you are the cornerstone of the party.”

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  1. A
    Mar 27, 2014 at 11:29 am
    good joke this made by day
    1. D
      Mar 26, 2014 at 10:13 am
      Sushma to remain disciplined before it is too late.
      1. V
        Viswa Gi
        Mar 26, 2014 at 3:28 am
        If she loses she should not blame NaMo. People will vote for BJP because of NaMo. When BJP comes to power she should not be given any portfolio because she would not speak to her PM.
        1. R
          Mar 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm
          Sonia will make UPA 3. BJP is party of rich, we will vote for Congress
          1. N
            Mar 26, 2014 at 11:06 am
            Sushma and company should give way to forward thinking young party workers. As a senior leader she can"t keep mum and sticking on the chair when some one criticize Modiji. I doubt any leader from Bjp can bring so much por support and keep alive Bjp"s hopes.
            1. H
              Himat Desiwala
              Mar 25, 2014 at 11:20 pm
              are you out of your mind ? What modi has done ?
              1. G
                Mar 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm
                Fully agree
                1. K
                  Mar 26, 2014 at 6:53 am
                  Mr. Kejriwal is the hero of this nation, In front of him the so called man of hatred divisive policies of hatred and his right hand Ambani is nothing..May be this time Modi may become PM, but then people will learn some lesson and he never become the PM again in our country. ..But, One day Mr.kjriwal will become the PM of our beloved country India..That day is very near..
                  1. S
                    Srikanthan Rajagopalan
                    Mar 26, 2014 at 2:43 am
                    I fully endorse.
                    1. S
                      Mar 26, 2014 at 6:57 am
                      True faces of all leaders are emerging . One did appreciate Sushma ji speaking in LoK sabha. Now one realizes it was only a speech for personal ambition.Nation /party /ideology has no proper prespective
                      1. T
                        Mar 25, 2014 at 9:47 pm
                        I hope she loses Vidisha seat which really hangs in balance unless shivraj chouhan has some mercy on her. Hypocrites like Sushma who is part of the Advani gang and who was part of the gang which never grew the party in the last 10 years nor took a public stance against any of the nonsense policies of dumb head sonia gadhi government like NREGA, Aadhar or land acquisition bill etc need to be evicted from the party. She loves sitting on opposition for an eternity and she cares 2 hoots about the workers who will campaign for her in the hot sun. I hope Chouhan s her big time and ensures her defeat because she deserves it. Jaswant Singh being driven out of BJP is a good start. Next should be Sushma. good for nothing bhuddau Advani should be really isolated and made to quit politics if he won't go out honorably.
                        1. u
                          uutham%40gmail uutham%40gmail
                          Mar 26, 2014 at 7:00 am
                          Time has come to put people like Sushma, Jaswant & Advani in their place. There is too "nose up in the air" with these people. Perhaps they enjo jolly good life in Parliament for too many years & don't want to loose it. They know under Modi, if they under perform they will get the boot.
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