MUMBAI: When the BJP appointed O P Mathur to steer the party’s campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly elections his colleague Rajiv Pratap Rudy, the party’s state incharge, had announced that his role in the party’s affairs will commence once the elections got over. However, when the campaign came to an end on Monday it was Rudy who had the last laugh.
There was a feeling in the party that Rudy was “sidelined” as Mathur, who has good equations with BJP president Amit Shah, was assigned a big responsibility. However, Rudy took over coordination of the campaign from Mathur and demonstrated that he cannot be ignored in the execution of the plans.
According to a senior state BJP official, Rudy was very much in command in the party’s election war room. Its trump card, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s record number of rallies, would not have been so successful if Rudy had not taken over the reigns.
“There was confusion in coordinating Modi’s rallies. He (Rudy) stayed put in the control room, coordinated with the Prime Minister’s Office and kept the local party officials in the loop. He ensured that everything went smoothly,” the official said.
Mathur was entusted with the task of interacting with the workers and boosting their morale. Joint General Secretary (Organisation) V Satish played the role in his place. Satish toured around 150 constituencies and pacified the angry workers, who were upset with the party’s decision to import candidates from other parties.
In a rare gesture, Satish used to give the dejected workers his personal number and asked them to remain in contact with him directly.
The strategy apparently paid off as the party did not face any rebellion.