While the Shiv Sena has already started doing the groundwork for civic elections slated for next year, the BJP has also begun its ‘Ghar Ghar Abhiyaan’ (door-to-door campaign) in all 227 municipal wards in Mumbai to tell people about various development works carried out by the Union and state governments over the past two years.
Party leaders said a common draft for pamphlets to be printed was shared with party activists. The draft includes works of MPs, MLAs and corporators in their areas. These pamphlets are now being distributed by activists. The pamphlets also talk about the Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat Abhiyyan, Make in India, Skill Development, Ditigal India, Beti Bachao Beti Padho Abhiyaan and other programmes.
On Saturday, Gyanmurti Sharma, a BJP corporator from Dindoshi in Malad (East), along with more than 30 party activists, campaigned at K D Heights buildings in Kathiawadi Chowk. “Namaste, kaise hai? Hamare kamkaaj ka lekha jokha dene aaye hai aap ko (I have come here to give you the report card of the various works),” Sharma was heard telling people while handing over the pamphlets.
On the 11th floor of building no 2 in KD heights, he met a resident who is a self-avowed Shiv Sena activist. “Aamcha prachar suru zala aahe. Laksh asu dya. (Our campaigning has started. Please note),” he told her.
Sharma, who is also the ward committee chairman of P(North), said it is an attempt to tell citizens that the party’s corporators and activists were working continuously throughout the year and not simply making an appearance just before the elections.
The abhiyaan was launched on May 3 on the death anniversary of senior BJP leader late Pramod Mahajan. Party leaders said the activists were asked to carry out the door-to-door campaign for a week but some of them are still continuing with it.
“Those who haven’t completed the abhiyaan are still campaigning. We are telling people about the kind of development work carried out by the Union and state governments. It is a part of voter engagement. We have covered most parts of the city. Many such initiatives will be taken up in coming months,” said Ashish Shelar, president of Mumbai unit of BJP and legislator from Bandra (West).
A senior BJP leader also said the idea behind the campaign is also to understand the local issues and people’s views to work on it. On May 1, the BJP celebrated the Maharashtra Day in all the wards as an attempt to reach out.
Observers said while on one hand the BJP is targeting the Shiv Sena over the various scams in the civic body, on the other it is portraying itself as the development-oriented party. This also signals that the BJP is also gearing up to go solo in the Mumbai civic elections next year.
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Currently, the BMC is controlled by the Shiv Sena and the BJP, with Sena having 75 corporators and BJP 31. In the last couple of months, BJP has targeted Sena over the de-silting scams, roads scams, dumping ground issues, water tanker mafias with others.