Feedback from the ground is to target villages and focus on local issues as opposition Congress tries to corner BJP on them.
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gearing up for the upcoming Uttarakhand Assembly elections scheduled early next year. In a recent meeting which was attended by the top leadership of the state BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the feedback from the ground was to target the booths, villages and local issues in the state as the Opposition Indian National Congress (INC) is focusing on them to corner the ruling BJP. The saffron outfit and the Sangh Parivar did a larger analysis of the performance of the government, the issues related to anti-incumbency, how to sharpen the development model and built a narrative on the village level for the upcoming polls.
The central leadership of the BJP is also closely following the developments and instructed the state unit to energise the cadre at the ground level. The appointment of Pushkar Singh Dhami was also the result of the feedback from the ground and the Sangh Parivar. The political heat had gathered momentum in the state as sitting Cabinet minister Yashpal Arya and his MLA son left the saffron party and joined the Opposition Congress, which had sent disturbing signal in New Delhi about the prospect of the party, need for course correction and activating the Sangh Parivar’s ecosystem in the state.
Recently, the state unit of the BJP also launched a “localized campaign”, to connect with the workers and voters of the state. In this campaign, the saffron party will connect with at least five people in each panchayat of the state. These workers will take the BJP government’s scheme to every corner of the state and help the party to gain momentum for the upcoming assembly polls.
Senior BJP leader and Member of Legislative Assembly Sahdev Singh said: “Our preparation for the Assembly polls is in full swing. We have launched a programme which will help us to connect with the 3,500 panchayats of Uttrakhand. Our performance in the Lok Sabha elections was fantastic and the leadership of Narendra Modiji is accepted by everyone. Therefore, we are confident of repeating our 2017 Assembly elections performance. Moreover, the Congress is a divided house. They don’t have any vision and agenda for the state, while, on the other hand, we have vision, agenda, leadership and faith of the people. We plan to organise a large-scale programme in the coming days to boost the morale of its workers and prepare them for upcoming elections.” Uttarakhand has 70 seats in the Assembly. In the 2017 polls, the BJP had won 57 out of the 70 seats, while the Congress won 11 seats with then sitting Chief Minister Harish Rawat losing from both the seats he contested. Nainital-based political analyst and observer Hemraj Rawat said: “The BJP had changed CM after CM in the state, in the last couple of months, many meetings with Sangh Parivar affiliates and the BJP leadership had been held to take feedback from the ground on how on minimize the impact of anti-incumbency, if any is present. The mood among the workers is that the BJP needs to target the panchayats and village level issues. The Congress is tactically raising the local issues which the BJP had to counter in the elections. The strategy of the saffron outfit is to counter the opposition at the village level through a large network of workers of affiliate organizations.”
The whole organizational set-up of the Sangh Parivar has also been activated by the BJP for its mission in the state. The saffron party is also planning to organize programmes for Panna Pramukhs, and will nominate workers to head the voters’ list. It is also said that the RSS had given the BJP leadership an agenda for the next one month to fix the gaps and sharpen its governance model at the ground level.
Uttarakhand, which was curved out of Uttar Pradesh in 2000, has followed a pattern of alternating of government between the BJP and Congress since its formation, with Congress ruling between 2002-2007 and 2012-17, and the BJP ruling between 2007-12 and 2017-till now. Whether the BJP beats the trend in the next election is to be seen.