BJP initiates ‘booth management’ in Pune, Baramati, Shirur Lok Sabha constituencies

Even though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is finding it difficult to join hands with the Shiv Sena, it has taken the lead over all other parties in initiating its ‘booth management’ strategy in Pune, Baramati and Shirur Lok Sabha constituencies ahead of the general elections.

This strategy, where 10 party workers and a ‘booth manager’ are appointed for focused attention on every election booth, has helped the party reap benefits in the past elections at the Centre, state and local bodies. This time, the party has completed more than 80 per cent of appointments of booth in-charges and workers functioning under them.

On Saturday, Amit Shah, BJP chief, was in the city to review the election preparations of the three constituencies. “The BJP’s biggest strength is its organisation. The formula to win elections is not an individual, but workers at the booth level,” said Shah, during a meeting of booth managers, called ‘Shakti Kendra (cluster of 3-4 booths) Pramukh sammelan’.

According to Girish Bapat, senior BJP leader and district guardian minister, the party has been able to appoint 1,783 heads and 18,621 workers for 1,984 booths in the Pune Lok Sabha constituency, currently being represented by Anil Shirole.

For the Shirur Lok Sabha constituency, currently represented by Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil, Shiv Sena MP, 2,151 booth managers and 18,471 members working under these managers have been appointed for 1,984 booths.

In the case of Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, a bastion of Sharad Pawar, president, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the BJP has completed appointment of 2,215 heads and 10,283 members for 2,293 booths. Baramati, which is on the BJP’s radar this time, is being represented by Pawar’s daughter, Supriya Sule from the NCP.

“At many places, we have appointed more than five workers per booth. In the coming days, we will complete the process of appointing the remaining booth in-charges,” said Bapat. According to him, these booth-level workers will reach out to each voter and inform them about the BJP government’s work in Maharashtra.

The party initiated these appointments six months ago with a ‘war room’ set up in every state to monitor them. These war rooms, referred to as ‘state contact centre’ will maintain the database of every constituency that will be provided to the Shakti Kendra chief. He in turn, will coordinate with the booth in-charge, said a senior BJP leader, familiar with the developments, requesting anonymity.

Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister, who was also present during Saturday’s event said that the booth-level workers are key to the party’s success in the polls as each member can influence his friends and family members.

First Published: Feb 12, 2019 16:17 IST

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