From WhatsApp To Booth Managers, BJP Beats Rivals In Gujarat Campaign

Apart from the obvious 'Modi factor', it is the BJP's election machinery and strong booth management skills that have given the party a clear edge over Congress and AAP

From WhatsApp To Booth Managers, BJP Beats Rivals In Gujarat Campaign

When it comes to running a high-decibel, 24x7 campaign, BJP is far ahead of its rivals

Ahmedabad:

With the second and final phase of voting coming up in Gujarat tomorrow, all the three major parties in the fray - ruling BJP and opposition Congress and Aam Aadmi Pary (AAP) - have put their best foot forward to woo voters. However, right from bombarding voters with targeted messaging on social media to marshalling its booth managers, BJP has clearly stolen a march over its rivals so far as campaigning goes.

While Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal were busy campaigning for the final phase, Congress stuck to what it has termed as a "low-key" campaign.

Jayesh Bhai, 65, one of the BJP's 3,000 booth workers for Ahmedabad's Danilimda seat, was seen handing out the party's wrist bands to potential voters, while also keeping a hawk-eye on the electoral rolls.

Danilimda is a Muslim-dominated area and a Congress stronghold, but that hasn't stopped the BJP from making a massive push on the ground.

Jayesh Bhai, a panna pramukh, or in-charge of one page on the electoral list, claims that each page of the electoral list now has a BJP panna committee to target the 30 voters whose names figure on it.

Jayesh Bhai told NDTV: "Apart from a few pages from the electoral list with only Muslim voters, we have panna pramukhs for every page. We have at least 3,000 panna pramukhs and five workers under them in each panna commitee. So that's at least 14,000 booth workers only in Danilimda."

He added that the job of these 14,000 booth workers in Danilimda is to run do-to-door campaigning and make sure the voters reach their polling booths on election day.

Right across the road and in front of the crowded BJP office one comes across an empty Congress office.

The Congress booth president, while defending his party's low-profile campaign, took a dig at the BJP and PM Modi. He said: "We're also campaigning, but in our own way. PM said Congress is running a 'silent campaign', so we are doing exactly that."

Saying that about 2,000 Congress workers were reaching out to voters, he rubbished the BJP's claim of having unleashed an army of lakhs of workers. "It's just bragging," he added.

Meanwhile, inside a tiny AAP office, dozens of booth workers, most of whom have switched from either the BJP or Congress, are busy hard selling the 'Kejriwal model' of governance.

"People need an alternative and we are that alternative. I go from door to door, telling people about the freebies being offered by Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi, such as zero electricity bill, zero water bill, cash in women's accounts and so on. People are liking it," said 60-year-old AAP worker Kavita Ben.

Even on social media, the BJP is way ahead of its rivals with more than 300 WhatsApp groups created for each constituency, compared to 20 created by Congress and AAP.

On these WhatsApp groups, hundreds of BJP booth workers bombard voters regularly with content ranging from Pakistan to anti-Sikh riots, targeting the Congress.

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