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  India   All India  22 Dec 2018  BJP, allies eye 40 Bihar seats, work up cadre

BJP, allies eye 40 Bihar seats, work up cadre

THE ASIAN AGE. | NAYEAR AZAD
Published : Dec 22, 2018, 1:38 am IST
Updated : Dec 22, 2018, 1:38 am IST

According to political analysts here, BJP is aware of the fact that extensive negative campaign launched by the RJD may harm the NDA.

Upendra Kushwaha was another strong player to have quit NDA, the Opposition feels that he can bring about 5 per cent Koeri votes to the grand alliance.
 Upendra Kushwaha was another strong player to have quit NDA, the Opposition feels that he can bring about 5 per cent Koeri votes to the grand alliance.

Patna: After losing three states Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, the BJP is working hard to strengthen its organisational set up in Bihar ahead of 2019 general elections.

BJP insiders say that the state government would expedite developmental projects in rural areas to win back the confidence of people in Bihar.

According to political analysts here, BJP is aware of the fact that extensive negative campaign launched by the RJD may harm the NDA.

Besides, the increasing base of the grand alliance at the national level may also cause trouble for the BJP.  Since February this year, two NDA partners in Bihar — Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha have joined the grand alliance.

Jitan Ram Manjhi has a major stake in the Mushahar community, a sub-caste among Dalits in Bihar. The community has the population of around 40 Lakh and was classified among Mahadalits in 2007 by chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Upendra Kushwaha was another strong player to have quit NDA, the Opposition feels that he can bring about 5 per cent Koeri votes to the grand alliance.

Observers say that “BJP must keep its partners together in order to increase its base in Bihar. Mr Manjhi and Mr Kushwaha were two important partners of BJP in Bihar and their exit may harm the NDA during elections”.

However, BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand dismissed such speculation and said that “Our presence is visible on all 72, 723 booths. On the basis of our continuous hard work, we are confident to win all 40 seats in Bihar.”

The BJP spokesperson claimed that senior party leaders including ministers have been asked to strengthen Panchayat and booth level committees to achieve success in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He said that the party is also planning to depute working committee members to spend at least a fortnight each with district and booth level workers.

“BJP is a cadre-based political organisation and has been working hard to connect with people and popularise welfare schemes and policies launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi", Mr Anand told this newspaper.

BJP insiders say that Panna Pramukhs have also been deputed in the rural areas in order to mobilise voters at the booth level. The strategy was first successfully implemented by party president Amit Shah in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. According to a source, the strategy will also give the party an opportunity to involve RSS workers for electoral purposes.

“The aim to strengthen committees at the Panchayat and booth level is to propagate welfare schemes and policies of the state as well as the central government”, Mr Anand said.

The selection of these Panna Pramukhs has been done by booth-level committees. Each Pramukh has been given the responsibility for a Panna which means a page in electoral rolls. Each page in the list has the names of around 60 voters and their job is to reach out to every voter mentioned on the page.

“The strategy is to win over a maximum of rural voters who are presently under the hold of either the RJD or the Congress party,” A BJP insider said.

Tags: 2019 general elections, upendra kushwaha