Even as the Opposition accused the Centre of not implementing the decision to demonetise higher denomination currency notes properly, the state BJP spent over Rs 6 crore in purchasing around 1,650 motorcycles for its UP Assembly election campaign. The motorcycles, painted white background with stripes in saffron colour and a sticker of the ‘lotus’ symbol, are ready to move into constituencies from December 18 onwards. There are 403 seats up for grabs in the next elections.
Sources in the party confirmed that each motorcylce cost Rs 37,105. According to party headquarters, four such vehicles have been deployed in each constituency, with two whole-time party workers on each to carry campaign material. Each motorcycle has been given a target of at least 300 households everyday over the next two months.
According to a party leader, there was sound logic behind choosing to buy the motorcycles.
“In winter, it would be difficult to manoeuvre four-wheelers in the narrow lanes of rural areas and villages in the morning and evening. Motorcylces are easier. It is the first time when such large number of bikes have been engaged for an election campaign by a political party,” he said.
Party state chief spokesperson Hridya Narain Dixit said party workers will ride to far flung places to popularise the achievements of the Narendra Modi government to the maximum possible voters. These bikes have been purchased using party funds for the election campaign, he added.
A message from PM Modi in which he has raised various issues regarding development of the state, and expressed gratitude to the people for their cooperation in the demonetisation exercise, will also be distributed.
“The vechicles have been purchased in bulk for the ‘Kamal Sandesh’ campaign. A special order had been given to an automobile company for the motorcycle,” said a BJP leader.
IT centre planned in every district
In order to strengthen its Assembly election campaign, the BJP has set up Information Technology (IT) centres at each of its district offices. So far, accessibility to computers and the internet was restricted to districts offices in the cities only.
Party sources said each centre will be equipped with two computer systems, internet connectivity and a printer. At least two computer operators will be deployed at each centre. Video cameras will also be installed to facilitate video-conferencing with state and central headquarters.
State president Keshav Prasad Maurya and general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal are likely to inaugurate these IT centres through video conference within a week from party state headquarters in Lucknow.
Sources said Bansal had directed for setting up the centres during a meeting of the party’s IT department members last Sunday. The centres are expected to be set up by December 18.
Party state vice-president and IT department in-charge, J P S Rathore said the centres will aid regular communication with party’s central and state offices during Assembly elections. The existing setup at district offices will also be upgraded to give shape of a full fledged IT Centre, he added.
A BJP leader said district offices will create a digital databank of booth committee members and they will be communicated about every party decision, election-related programme, schedule of visit of senior leaders and union ministers.
The party has already set up a mega IT centre at state headquarters in Lucknow where dozens of youth workers remain in constant touch with party leaders through phone, and they also keep tabs on the movement of four Parivartan Raths and chariots moving in every district under ‘UP ke Mann ki baat’ campaign.