NEW DELHI: In a departure from the practice of carpet-bombing poll-bound states with big rallies, the BJP is seemingly bracing up for ground contacts with the electorate as a part of its election campaign in five states.
Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join the poll campaign, he will not be addressing a series of mega rallies unlike in the past, the BJP strategists said. As against 34 rallies in Gujarat and 21 in Karnataka, Modi is likely to address not more than 25 rallies in all the five states put together.
“The BJP is approaching these elections on the strength of its party workers. The strategy is to work up the campaign from the bottom, which for the party is a polling booth,” said a senior BJP functionary.
As a part of the changing strategies, Modi too is focusing on party workers and interacting with them via the ‘Namo App’. “Since January, we began work to closely network with the electorate in the poll-bound states, particularly Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. We have been able to put in place dedicated social media volunteers at each of the polling booths in these states,” added the BJP functionary.
The BJP’s social media outreach, sources claimed, is connecting with 45 lakh electorate in Madhya Pradesh on a daily basis. It is about 30 lakh and 20 lakh in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, respectively.
Incidentally, BJP chief Amit Shah lays more emphasis on door-to-door contact programmes, and continuous training of the party workers. “Big rallies are losing their sheens. They drain energy of party workers, who have to toil hard to bring the people to a venue. In an age where the people are mostly listening to the political leaders and reading propaganda material on their smart phones, it’s essential that there should be a re-adjustment of the electioneering strategies,” a source said.
The BJP also appears to have taken lessons from the Gujarat and Karnataka verdicts to resist para-trooping party leaders from other states for poll management. With Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh being the BJP’s traditional bases, besides being considered the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh’s laboratories, sources said the party does not require services of the ‘outsiders’.