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UP Assembly polls: BJP begins massive booth-level survey to assess itself

Suhas Munshi | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:46 IST

Apart from celebrating Gandhi Jayanti as Swachh Bharat Diwas, the BJP has launched another large exercise in Uttar Pradesh on 2 October - the party's biggest internal survey for the upcoming Assembly polls.

The exercise has been ordered by Amit Shah, who is known to focus on the party's strength in booth-level management. Shah, the party's national president, is personally supervising the whole project.

Beginning on Gandhi Jayanti, the party leadership in Uttar Pradesh has begun a 19-day tour of the entire state to meet booth level in-charges, and assess the party's strengths and weaknesses.

The procedure

The leaders will tour all 1.21 lakh booths in the 403 constituencies of the state, and finish their survey by 21 October.

Party and Sangh leaders across the state have been asked to visit all booth in-charges in 15 to 18 Assembly constituencies each, and make a note of the party's strengths and weaknesses in each booth.

To make for a fair assessment, all leaders have been deputed out of their home bases. For instance, Om Mathur, the party in-charge for UP, will tour Gorakhpur, along with 17 other Assembly seats, while state BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya will tour and meet poll in-charges in Saharanpur and Budaun and 15 other constituencies.

'Booth jeeta, chunav jeeta' (win the booth, win the election), and 'mera booth sabse mazboot' (my booth strongest) are some of the slogans party has come up with to enthuse its ground level workers.

The leaders meeting the booth level workers will inform them about the achievements of the 2.5 years of the Modi government at the Centre, and about areas where to attack the ruling Samajwadi Party government in the state.

After concluding the exercise, all the state leaders will meet Shah in Allahabad on 25 October to work out a roadmap for the campaign ahead.

The point of the exercise

"This exercise is to understand our own strengths and weaknesses, and not meant to campaign among the people. We will take stock of all the issues that affect the people in various parts of the state, and accordingly prepare our responses and campaign schedule. It should give us a fair understanding of where we stand in the state today, and where all we need to put in that extra effort," said BJP's UP spokesperson, Chandra Mohan.

According to a party source, public responses and sentiments on national and international issues like the 'surgical strikes' across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and atrocities on Dalits will also be taken, to see how popular they are in rural and urban areas.

The central party leadership has so far been largely quiet on the surgical strikes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hasn't reacted to them, and neither has Shah, except for issuing a congratulatory message on Twitter.

One reason, reportedly, is that the party isn't sure of its response, in case Pakistan decides to escalate tension further. Another is that strategic affairs experts have warned India's security establishment to keep the chest-thumping to a bare minimum, given Pakistan's refusal to acknowledge that any strikes took place.

Edited by Shreyas Sharma

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First published: 4 October 2016, 1:38 IST
Suhas Munshi @suhasmunshi

He hasn't been to journalism school, as evident by his refusal to end articles with 'ENDS' or 'EOM'. Principal correspondent at Catch, Suhas studied engineering and wrote code for a living before moving to writing mystery-shrouded-pall-of-gloom crime stories. On being accepted as an intern at Livemint in 2010, he etched PRESS onto his scooter. Some more bylines followed in Hindustan Times, Times of India and Mail Today.