New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which received a lot of flak over continuing its political rallies amidst the coronavirus pandemic, has got into damage control mode and has asked all state units to not only start Covid-related relief work but also publicise it.
According to sources, the party’s central leadership received specific feedback that the Delhi unit is not “active on the ground”, and has now asked it to reach out to people affected by the second Covid-19 wave.
The party has also asked all state units to prepare a report card on the work done by their elected representatives during the pandemic and to publicise the schemes of the Modi government.
A senior BJP leader said the party is aware of the fact that the opposition is trying to “emulate and compete” with it, particularly on social media.
“Whether it is social media, any other platform or working on the ground, we have to reach out to the people,” the leader said. “Many people do seek help on social media too and that can’t be neglected.”
“A number of Delhi BJP leaders have given feedback that the state unit could have been more active,” said a second senior leader. “On social media especially, people are reaching out to IYC (Indian Youth Congress) president Srinivas B.V. and AAP MLA Dilip K Pandey for help. The state units have been asked to prepare a concrete plan in handling the situation better and reaching out to the maximum number of people.”
Delhi BJP faces flak
A source told ThePrint that many Delhi BJP MPs were busy in election campaigns and have now been asked to focus only on the national capital.
According to a third party leader, the Delhi unit held a meeting under the in-charge Baijayant Panda, which was attended by local leaders and some BJP MPs too.
“We have been asked to ensure more of the eligible people get vaccinated. We have also been told to ensure maximum mask and sanitiser distribution and at the same time highlight the failures of the AAP government,” the leader said. “People need to know that they (opposition) are only visible on social media.”
The Delhi unit has already started the exercise of preparing a list of BJP workers who have recovered from Covid-19 and can donate their plasma. “We are preparing a list so that we can use them if we get requests from the public,” the leader said. “The list will be ready within a day or two. Everyone has been asked to stop all other activities and prioritise Covid-related work.”
Party to step up Covid relief work
BJP President J.P. Nadda had Sunday held a virtual meeting of the party national office bearers and state unit presidents to discuss the growing cases and how relief work can be carried out.
Nadda has directed all the state units to “immediately start their campaign and initiatives against corona without any delay,” an official statement from the party said.
Nadda has also directed all the state presidents to conduct meetings with their respective district unit presidents, district general secretaries and other district-level office bearers and ask them to immediately start working on this drive.
“He has asked all the state units to submit a report on this after getting feedback from the people as to what all relief has been provided to them and whether they are satisfied,” said the third leader.
The state units have also been asked to review all the work done by the party office bearers and elected representatives.
“All the state units have been asked to review the work of the elected representatives and ask them how exactly have they helped the people during the pandemic,” the leader added. “They should also submit feedback on how they are making people aware about the pandemic and the programmes that are being run by the Modi government as well as the party in their areas.”
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)