Seeking to reach maximum people in rural areas ahead of UP polls next year, 14 Union Ministers, including Rajnath Singh, Manohar Parrikar and Maneka Gandhi, and BJP president Amit Shah will hold chaupals in different districts of the state on April 24, when PM Narendra Modi will address the Panchayati Raj Sammelan at Jamshedpur.
The aim of holding chaupals is to gather maximum people to listen to the PM’s speech, which will be beamed live to all the Gram Sabhas across the country.
Modi’s speech on Panchayati Raj Day will also mark the conclusion of his pet initiative — Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan, which showcased the life of B R Ambedkar, and is seen as a move to capture Dalit votes.
BJP has engaged its entire work force to ensure that chaupals (gathering of villagers in Gram Sabha) at village level become successful. Simultaneously, the party is working on a separate campaign named ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’. Party state vice-president Ashok Kataria is the convener while state executive member Sanjay Rai is the co-convener of the programme in UP.
The party has appointed a “vakta” (speaker) for clusters of 10 villages each. The “vakta” is visiting villages under his cluster to inform people about achievements of Modi government and to invite them to hear the PM’s speech at chaupal. Control rooms have been set up at district offices for monitoring movement of 7,417 such vaktas deployed across UP.
Sources said leaders seeking ticket for Assembly polls are arranging projectors and screens at their own cost at different places for live broadcast of PM’s speech. “While the chaupals are to be organised in villages, some ticket seekers in urban areas have even booked cinema halls so that party workers could see PM’s speech live on big screen,” Rai said.
He said that while the chaupals are to be organised by the Centre in collaboration with the state government, BJP is making its own preparations to make PM’s programme successful.
Union Ministers and the BJP’s national body members will be present at different places to address the gathering before PM’s speech. Among Union ministers, according to Rai, Rajnath Singh will address the chaupal in PM’s constituency Varanasi, while Maneka would hold it in Pilibhit. Parrikar and HRD minister
Smriti Irani are likely to hold chaupals in Rae Bareli and Amethi, respectively.