NEW DELHI:Over a year ago, the BJP coined catchy slogans like ‘Abki Baar, Modi Sarkar’ (this time, Modi government) to hardsell Narendra Modi to voters as prime minister. Now, with the government completing its first year in office, it’s once again time to market its best brand. To do that, the BJP has fallen back upon its Modi strategy: to carpet bomb people with rallies, exhibitions, fairs and everything else.
The aim before the party is to tell people that the government has done a lot as the first signs of impatience have started appearing even among party cadres.
Symbolism will also be part of this massive exercise as Modi will go to party ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhayay’s birthplace, village Chandrabhan near Mathura, to address a rally on May 25. Upadhayay, who gave the saffron party mantras like Antodhaya and ‘Integral Humanism’, aimed at inclusion of ‘poorest of the poor’ into welfare measures. The prime minister is likely to invoke Upadhayay’s legacy to suggest that his government has worked more for the poor. It will serve as a counter to Congress’ charge of the Modi government being pro-rich.
With the PM setting the agenda, all the party’s elected representatives, ministers and chief ministers will hold rallies to help build a perception that the government has delivered a lot. MPs and minsters will hold two to three public meetings each from May 26 onwards and address press conferences. The actual number may run over 200 within one week, sources say.
If this is not an overkill, the party will hold exhibitions on achievements. “Insurance companies like LIC and others have been asked to put up camps to enroll over 50 crore members for schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana. The focus will be on the poor,” says a party office bearer.
“We have not been able to take the message to the grassroots. The government has performed a lot. Even on contentious issue like the Land Bill, we could not effectively put across over view,” says a party leader.
As party cadres have been complaining of inaccessibility to seniors and ministers after the government was sworn in, leaders say efforts are on to address that concern too.
“One of the biggest achievements in the last one year of the government is that no one has doubted the intention of the government to deliver and work sincerely. There has been no scam,” says a party source, adding that while 30 per cent of the people are impatient with progress, another 30 per cent are willing to give more time to the government to deliver.
As a step to build up a favourable perception, BJP intends to train its spokespersons and TV panellists with not just rhetoric, but counter with facts. “We told them (spokespersons) how to go prepared for TV debates and address press conferences. It was not sufficient to say that the government has done a lot. It needs to be backed by facts and research. We will provide them material,” a minister told The Sunday Standard.
“Look at what happened to Rahul Gandhi when he raised the issue of Food Park without research. He was countered by facts. Similarly, party spokespersons should do their homework,” the minister added.
Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Nirmala Sitharaman addressed party spokespersons during a day-long workshop last week to prepare them for discussions likely to dominate the media.
Sources said Gadkari briefed them about the contentious Land Bill and how housing for all will be achieved by 2020. He explained how houses will be built for `6 lakh each by buying cement in bulk, getting free sand from rivers and maximum use of land to bring down costs. Swaraj talked about foreign policy exploits of the Modi government; from wowing the Indian Diaspora to rescuing hundreds from foreign lands; Jaitley about the economy and initiatives to bring back black money and Gehlot on social sector schemes.
Sources said the spokespersons and government material being prepared would showcase success examples instead of just hard data.
The NDA government is separately working on compiling data on “good work” done by various ministries. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is the nodal ministry for collecting data from all ministries, which along with the Prime Minister’s Office will then come out with a compendium, highlighting success stories.
Official broadcaster Prasar Bharati through its wings Doordarshan and All India Radio will also highlight the success stories through news features and interviews of ministers.
PM Narendra Modi’s rally in Mathura, birth place of late ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhay
Jan Kalyan Parva
All MPs, MLAs, mayors, state officers to hold three programmes. They will address public meetings, press conferences, inaugurate exhibitions
Huge canvases will be painted by artists, painters on themes of good governance and welfare schemes
Awareness campaigns and registration camps for beneficiaries of new schemes like PM Surakasha Bima, PM Jeeven Jyoti Bima, Atal Pension yojna