PM Modi to in­ter­act with BJP work­ers at 9L polling sta­tions

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - Ku­mar Utt­tam

NEW DELHI: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi will in­ter­act with Bharatiya Janata Party work­ers at 9 lakh polling sta­tions on Fe­bru­ary 28, as part of the party’s prepa­ra­tion for the sum­mer’s Lok Sabha elec­tion, two BJP lead­ers fa­mil­iar with the pro­gramme said.

The party will also launch a “Mera Pari­var, Bha­jpa Pari­var” (my fam­ily is with the BJP) cam­paign be­tween Fe­bru­ary 12 and March 2, dur­ing which BJP work­ers will get 50 mil­lion houses to sport the party flag.

Modi’s in­ter­ac­tion will be held through the Namo App — the of­fi­cial mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion of the Prime Min­is­ter that draws its name from the first two let­ters of his first and last name.

The BJP ac­cel­er­ated its poll prepa­ra­tion af­ter a poor show­ing in as­sem­bly elec­tions in De­cem­ber (it lost three Hindi heart­land states). Soon af­ter, HT re­ported, the Prime Min­is­ter em­barked on an in­tense 90-day, 100-ral­lies cam­paign. On Satur­day and Sun­day alone, he ad­dressed six pro­grammes in six states.

The BJP has in­vited ques­tions from party work­ers for the PM’S Fe­bru­ary 28 in­ter­ac­tion, be­fore Fe­bru­ary 15. Modi will answer a few of them dur­ing the in­ter­ac­tion. A team at BJP HQ will mon­i­tor the pre­pared­ness for the event, which re­quires booth­level work­ers, the first line in the party’s out­reach ef­forts, to down­load the Namo app and make a donation be­tween ₹5 and ₹ 1,000.

The PM reg­u­larly meets spe­cific groups through the Namo App, but the size of the au­di­ence has never been as large as it will be on Fe­bru­ary 28, one of the two lead­ers cited in the first in­stance said. Modi has held sev­eral “Mera Booth Sabse Ma­j­boot’ (my booth is strong­est) in­ter­ac­tions with BJP work­ers from dif­fer­ent states, and the maha sam­vad (grand in­ter­ac­tion) on Fe­bru­ary 28 will be a fi­nale of sorts, this per­son added.

“He wants to speak to BJP work­ers at ev­ery lo­ca­tion be­fore the elec­tions are for­mally an­nounced and ev­ery­one gets busy” he said. The elec­tion com­mis­sion is ex­pected to an­nounce the sched­ule of the Lok Sabha elec­tion in the first week of March.

“He will out­line the im­por­tance of win­ning the com­ing elec­tion and what ev­ery BJP worker is ex­pected to do,” the sec­ond leader said.

At the BJP’S na­tional coun­cil meet­ing in New Delhi last month, Modi cau­tioned the party against any com­pla­cency, this leader said. Modi is the BJP’S star cam­paigner and re­mains a hugely pop­u­lar fig­ure. “All of you need to work hard at the booth level,” he told BJP lead­ers at that meet­ing.

The cam­paign to put up flags at 50 mil­lion houses is an ex­er­cise to max­imise BJP’S vis­i­bil­ity and show its dom­i­nance.

The BJP es­ti­mates that around 220 mil­lion people have ben­e­fited from the NDA’S wel­fare schemes and wants to make sure these people vote for it in the com­ing elec­tion.

Dr San­jeev Ti­wari, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of po­lit­i­cal sci­ence with Delhi Uni­ver­sity, said such an ex­er­cise can be ex­pected from the BJP which has a “well oiled” or­gan­i­sa­tion ma­chin­ery.

“There is no other cadrebased party which has such dom­i­na­tion over such a large ge­o­graph­i­cal area. Also, it has started pre­par­ing for elec­tions when its ri­vals even don’t know how many seats they will con­test. These two give an edge to Naren­dra Modi in the na­tional elec­tion.”

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