IN AN effort to reach out to every household in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has got more than three crore “voter slips” printed and plans to distribute them to these households so that all 14.12 crore voters are covered.
Although these are part of a trend — all political parties do distribute voter slips before election — the BJP has made it a more elaborate exercise this time besides trying to reach very voter.
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So far, voter slips have been the size of a postcard with the voter’s name, age and serial number in the electoral roll. The BJP’s document this time comes in the form of a pamphlet, not only carrying the details of each voter in a given household but also highlighting significant points of the BJP manifesto. Party insiders said it would not have been possible to route copies of their 25-page manifesto to every family. They said the slip is also one way of helping the candidate, whose name is printed, to connect directly with the voters.
The BJP started distributing the pamphlets in western UP from Tuesday for the first phase of the elections, scheduled for February 11. Each slip is addressed to one member of a chosen household with the house number printed on the top, followed by an appeal for votes to free the state of “goonda raj and corruption”.
Beneath photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra and Uma Bharti and state BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya are details of the voter, polling schedule and the candidate. Manifesto promises, highlighted on the back page, include a farm loan waiver, ban on mechanical slaughterhouses, formation of a special department in police to prevent migration on account of communal tension, free laptops with 1 GB free data, free education for girls up to graduation, free LPG connections to poor and creation of “anti-Romeo” squads at police stations near colleges.
“Party workers will ensure that the summary of our manifesto reaches every household through these voter slips,” J P S Rathore, BJP state vice-president and in-charge of poll management, told The Indian Express. “It will ensure the presence of BJP’s symbol and manifesto in every family.”
A BJP leader said the decision to go into such an elaborate exercise was taken because the smaller voter slips of earlier were often found inadequate. These would be distributed without a party first making sure that the voter’s name was actually in the list available with the poll staff in the booth.
“We have taken the data of each voter from the Election Commission. Hence, the voter carrying the slip we have provided can be sure that he will be entitled to cast his vote,” said the leader.