2019: BJP builds youth army of docs, en­gi­neers

30,000 vol­un­teers to work as party’s eyes and ears

The Asian Age - - Front Page - SHASHI BHUSHAN

While the Con­gress and other Op­po­si­tion par­ties strug­gle to set up a com­mon plat­form, the BJP has stepped up its prepa­ra­tions for the 2019 elec­tions by re- ac­ti­vat­ing a youth cell to con­sol­i­date its sup­port among young pro­fes­sion­als and in­tel­li­gentsia.

Chris­tened Global Young Ac­tion Net­work ( GYAN) Foun­da­tion, the cell will be a new avatar of group “Youth4BJP” whose 30,000 vol­un­teers, young pro­fes­sion­als in­spired by the BJP’s poli­cies but who were not mem­bers of the party, had added mus­cle to the party’s “Mis­sion 272+” that led to the for­ma­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment in 2014.

Sources said that GYAN foun­da­tion will not only ed­u­cate young pro­fes­sion­als and in­tel­lec­tu­als on the Modi gov­ern­ment’s flag­ship schemes but also con­duct sur­veys for the BJP and gather feed­back on the vot­ers’ per­cep­tion about the gov­ern­ment’s per­for­mance.

Data col­lected by GYAN vol­un­teers will be sent di­rectly to party gen­eral sec­re­taries ( or­gan­i­sa­tion) at the cen­tral and state unit lev­els, sources said.

“The vol­un­teers, with­out tak­ing party mem­ber­ship, will work as ears and eyes for the BJP. They will pro­vide un­bi­ased feed­back to lead­ers,” said founder of GYAN foun­da­tion, Sumeet Bhasin.

Mr Bhasin told this news­pa­per that the foun­da­tion is a plat­form for young pro­fes­sion­als from dif­fer­ent fields who con­trib­ute to so­ci­ety and are will­ing to work for na­tion build­ing with­out join­ing pol­i­tics.

“Sev­eral young pro­fes­sion­als work­ing in cor­po­rate houses and multi­na­tional com­pa­nies are join­ing us to cre­ate aware­ness about Modiji’s good gov­er­nance and achieve­ments of his gov­ern­ment in run up to next year’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions,” he said.

Sources said foun­da­tion vol­un­teers have be­gun fan­ning out across the coun­try and hold­ing reg­u­lar in­ter­ac­tions to link up with pro­fes­sion­als. Meet­ings with NGOs and res­i­dent wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tions ( RWAs) have also

started to prop­a­gate the gov­ern­ment’s wel­fare schemes and achieve­ments, they said.

In the com­ing weeks, GYAN vol­un­teers will also in­volved in “soft di­plo­macy” to at­tract stu­dents of for­eign uni­ver­si­ties and in­sti­tu­tions. They will also col­lab­o­rate with in­ter­na­tional academia through in­ter­ac­tion and ex­change pro­grammes to high­light the Modi gov­ern­ment’s poli­cies.

The foun­da­tion is also de­vel­op­ing an in­ter­ac­tive screen where peo­ple can find out and know about the gov­ern­ment’s pro­grammes and poli­cies.

Af­ter the BJP’s de­feat in 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Mr Bhasin along­with his col­leagues Ku­nal Kapoor, Su­man Sard­wal and Deven­der, who had worked for a group called LK Ad­vani fo­rum, started con­nect­ing with young pro­fes­sional who were in­spired by Atal Be­hari Va­japyee.

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