Taking a cue from the BJP’s 2014 general election campaign, when the ‘chai pe charcha’ idea gained traction, Delhi unit leaders and party workers will hold ‘Ujjwala chai pe charcha’ programmes and apply ‘Kamal mehendi’ by visiting people’s homes in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, introduced by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to provide LPG connections to women from below poverty line households, has been touted as a gamechanger by the Centre. The scheme, launched in May 2017, is aimed at replacing unclean cooking fuel with LPG.
Delhi BJP general secretary Rajesh Bhatia told The Indian Express that the party has already held meetings with residents of Mayur Vihar, Rajender Nagar, Mubarakpur and Kirari to discuss schemes launched by the PM.
“Booth-level workers have been told to identify beneficiaries of the Ujjwala scheme, go to their houses and advertise work done by the BJP over a cup of tea prepared on the cylinder given through the scheme,” said former North body mayor and senior BJP leader Ravindar Gupta.
The Delhi unit will assign at least five people to over 13,000 booths across Delhi to execute its campaigns, said Bhatia. He added that a meeting of booth workers will be held at IGI Stadium on December 23 to discuss the feedback they receive. Besides this, party leaders said women workers will go to different households to apply lotus-shaped henna (kamal mehendi).
BJP women’s wing president Poonam Parashar Jha said the party has given her a list of 1,38,000 households to visit: “While applying henna, we will tell women to consider it as an invitation to the women’s wing rally that will be organised on December 16 at Ramlila Maidan.”
“We have gone to several households and had tea, prepared on Ujjwala cylinders, with our sisters who benefited from the scheme. They told us that earlier, they faced a lot of trouble cooking on a chullah using wood,” she added.
With around six months left for the polls, the Delhi BJP has stepped up campaigning by its various wings: Purvanchali morcha, mahila morcha, youth wing and anusuchit jati (Scheduled Caste) morcha.
In December and January, leaders said the party will conduct a marathon for its youth wing at Delhi University, while its Dalit wing will cook 5,000 kg khichdi, made of rice collected from Dalit households, at Ramlila Maidan.
A senior leader said these initiatives are being taken to increase interaction of party workers with people: “In today’s time, with a lot of the political discourse taking place on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, we don’t want our workers to forget that the BJP has always been a party of cadres.”