Dial for anti-gutkha campaign,and end up as BJP volunteer

If you give a missed call on a toll-free number (0800090009) to show solidarity to the Gutkha Mukti Abhiyaan (campaign to free Gujarat from gutkha addiction),you can end up wishing Narendra Modi for completing 11 years

Written by Lakshmi Ajay | Ahmedabad | Published: October 7, 2012 2:21 am

If you give a missed call on a toll-free number (0800090009) to show solidarity to the Gutkha Mukti Abhiyaan (campaign to free Gujarat from gutkha addiction),you can end up wishing Narendra Modi for completing 11 years as chief minister of Gujarat and becoming a BJP volunteer for the upcoming state Assembly elections or even a registered party member.

A day after NaMo Gujarat,the TV channel launched as part of BJP campaign,went off air,the party’s youth cell lost no time in launching an SMS blitzkrieg to enlist footsoldiers for the party’s election work through the same toll-free number that is used to support the anti-gutkha campaign.

In fact,the same number appeared in a banner on Modi’s website on Saturday to wish him on completing 11 years as chief minister of Gujarat. Modi had replaced Keshubhai Patel as CM on October 7,2001. On sending an SMS to this number,you get a thank-you response,purportedly from Modi himself.

BJP’s Yuva Morcha president Pradipsinh Vaghela said anyone interested in volunteering for the party can leave his name and an email ID on the toll-free number and the party will send him or her a formal letter stating the plan of action for the Assembly polls. “The volunteer can then state his area of interest and take it forward. In just one day,we have already generated a lot of interest,especially among the youth.”

Vaghela said the idea was inspired from none other than US President Barack Obama’s campaign for his re-election.

Modi had clamped a ban on September 11 on sale,stocking,production and distribution of gutkha and had launched a toll-free number where people could give missed calls to support the cause. The same toll-free number was also used to record birthday wishes for the CM on September 17.

“We used the same number first for gutkha ban,and then as a platform for well-wishers across the state for wishing Narendra Modi on his birthday and now to enroll volunteers. We had got a great response for our anti-gutkha campaign on the toll-free number,especially from women. We expect a similar response to our latest endeavour as well,” Vaghela said.

“Being election time,we want to welcome more volunteers. Social media,door-to-door campaigning,organising events and office management are some of the areas where their help will be needed,” said state BJP spoksperson Jagdish Bhavsar.

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