In poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, where the difference in the number of seats between the Congress and BJP was wafer thin in 2018, the saffron party this time is using the ongoing Navratri week to maximise its outreach with a goal to win 65,000 booths.
Starting at 12 pm on Tuesday, the BJP will embark on a three-day drive called ‘Shakti Sammelan’ named after Ma Durga (who is also called Shakti) who is worshipped these nine days. The state BJP has decided to allocate these three days for electoral worship when it will hold such meetings in as many as 12,000 places across the state over three days.
The goal of these congregations is to win 65,000 booths. Hence, the idea is to woo people at booth level, shunning the usual grandeur of BJP rallies.
Everyone attending will be asked to take a pledge to win those 65,000 booths including where the BJP performed well in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections but did not get as euphoric response in 2018 Assembly polls.
Booth workers, current and former local leadership will take part in these meetings where senior district members will also be in attendance.
So, what’s the core strategy? The BJP’s main weapon will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image and the recent government schemes by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government aimed at women to drive home the dual point of populism and “double-engine Sarkar”.
In the 2018 assembly elections, Madhya Pradesh saw Congress ending up becoming the single largest party with 114 seats, two short of a majority in the 230-member assembly. The BJP won 109.
While speaking to News18, Ujjain MP Anil Firojiya explained, “Panna Pramukhs will be a core constituent of this drive. The job of booth president will be to ensure names of new voters get enlisted and they come out and vote on that day. Ultimately, the goal is simple — BJP should win.”
Madhya Pradesh will go to polls on November 17.
With inputs from News18