Wednesday, 5 October, 2022
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How to pass the Amit Shah test: Learn from those who’ve been there, done that

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State BJP leaders are taking tips from colleagues in other states to impress the party president when he comes visiting. 

The chief of a national political party visiting a state is usually a routine affair. But not when that party chief happens to be Amit Shah, who’s known to be a hard taskmaster.

The BJP president is on a 110-day nationwide tour to strengthen the party’s support base and that has raised stress levels of the state units, sources in the party told ThePrint.

State BJP leaders are going out of their way to prepare for his visit, and are even calling their counterparts in states that have already hosted Shah for tips.

Some state units that the BJP chief is still to visit are also sending their representatives, especially organisational secretaries, to the states where Shah is currently on tour.

“The organisation secretaries of UP and Rajasthan have attended Shah’s three-day pravas in other states. The objective is to prepare for the tough scrutiny ahead,” a senior leader in the party said, on condition of anonymity.

Besides gathering information on important issues expected to come up during their meetings with Shah, the leaders are collecting data to support the information, the sources said.

What they also note are tips on how to interact with Shah, whether to voice grievances against a particular leader or not, who should be invited from the “intellectual class” to meet the BJP chief, how to engage with him on polling booth management and setting up meetings over meals with religious leaders or a specific caste or community group.

Sources said Shah makes it a point to meet workers from all ranks of the party during his three-day tours of states. Separate meetings are held for workers, MLAs, MPs and the core group of each state unit.

“While such a move helps strengthen the party, it also increases the work load of the host, who needs to prepare for each of these meetings,” said one senior leader.

Shah is scheduled to visit Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand soon. Among the states he has already visited are Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Orissa, Goa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Puducherry and Lakshadweep.

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