PM Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls, at Paliganj in Patna
File photo | PM Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls, at Paliganj in Patna | PTI
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New Delhi: The BJP has started its campaign for the Bihar election due in October-November by identifying ‘key voters’ in every constituency to spread the party’s message at the grassroots level. 

BJP leaders told ThePrint the party has distributed 28-page ‘Mandal Pustikas’ in all the 1,000 mandals and they need to be filled up with details of the key voters, who can influence voters’ minds in respective booths.

BJP state president, national president and even the PM can directly call these key voters to know the status of a particular mandal, they added.

“We have sent ‘Mandal Pustika’ to 1,000 mandals. Every mandal has to fill this 28-page booklet with key voters’ names and phone numbers who normally influence elections,” said a senior BJP office-bearer.

“Normally in BJP, booth-management is quite robust. But this time, we know, due to Covid uncertainty, most of the campaigns will be virtual. There will be virtual video rallies, virtual nukkad sabhas. We need all sorts of data to spread our message without delay,” he added.

He said in one assembly seat, there are at least 5 mandals, and one mandal has at least 60 booths. Bihar has 224 assembly constituencies.

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Key voters and key institutions

According to BJP MLA from Bihar Prem Ranjan Patel, key voters are those who have considerable influence in their booths and those who have the ability to influence people’s voting decisions.

“They can be party’s former MLAs, MPs, district chiefs, prominent businessmen, intellectuals, professors, sportspersons or religious leaders,” he said.

“The ‘Mandal Pustika’ should also have details of rival parties’ influential members, their names, contact numbers,” Patel told ThePrint.

Beside details of key voters, mandal presidents will have to fill the details of influential institutions in their areas as well.

“These institutions can be temples, mosques, churches, schools, cultural centres, clubs,” Patel said.

BJP senior leader and former Union minister C.P. Thakur told ThePrint: “Key voters are key to election campaigning in every constituency.”

“The idea is to first identify them, then communicate the party’s message to them directly. We will start communicating with them to know the ground reality,” he added.

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Key voters will be ‘eyes and ears’ of election  

The BJP has 72,727 booths in Bihar. In every mandal, the party has asked the mandal in-charge to identify 500-1,000 key voters, said the party office-bearer quoted above.

“These key influential voters will shape the election campaign and voting. They will be the eyes and ears of the upcoming election,” he added.

Every constituency in-charge has been asked to complete the task of filling up details of key voters and institutions in ‘Mandal Pustikas’ by 1 June, he said.

Sampark Abhiyan, Maan ki Baat

In meetings held Tuesday and Wednesday with BJP district presidents and mandal presidents, state party in-charge Bhupendra Yadav has asked to activate karyakartas at the booth level, said the BJP office-bearer mentioned above.

Every district president has also been instructed to share BJP national president J.P. Nadda’s Facebook live on social media platforms on 30 May. 

On 31 May, the BJP’s saptarishisthe seven-member committees of every booth in Bihar — will listen to the PM’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and then relay his message to the people to mobilise support ahead of the election.

Every district president, assembly in-charge and state unit has been asked to organise Jan Sampark Abhiyan keeping social distancing in mind to mark the first year of Modi government’s second term in office, according to the office-bearer.

The BJP is also planning to hold over 1,000 virtual conferences by senior leaders to mark the first-year anniversary.

Party workers have also been told to push for virtual campaigns about the Modi government’s actions such as scrapping of Article 370, bringing in the CAA, handling the Covid pandemic and the Rs 21-lakh crore stimulus package, according to the office-bearer.

Also read: Bihar has a lot to lose due to Covid crisis, but Nitish Kumar is the most relaxed CM


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