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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress organisationally weak, its chief no match for Modi, claims Uttarakhand BJP

The ‘short time available’ to political parties for campaigning for the April 11 parliamentary election in Uttarakhand has given a cadre-based party like the BJP a clear advantage over the Congress that lacks organisational strength, the officiating chief of the BJP’s Uttarakhand unit said here on Sunday.

“We aren’t handicapped by the extremely short time we got for campaigning for the general election, unlike the Congress because we are a cadre-based party that always remains in poll mode,” Naresh Bansal told HT in an interview.

“The opposition party, on the other hand, is bereft of an organisation and gets into poll mode just before elections.”

The Congress rubbished the BJP claims. “Ours is a grand old party, which has a vast cadre base and strong organisational network right up to the levels of areas around the polling booths,” said MD Joshi, Congress chief spokesperson in the state. “Similarly, we have in our party chief (Rahul Gandhi) a leader of the 21st century who doesn’t make false promises but walks the talk.”

Bansal said the BJP has chalked out a strategy for its final round of intensive poll campaign to be carried out for the next 10 days ahead of the election.

The strategy was chalked out at a meeting of the BJP’s state election management committee held in its state office here on Saturday.

Apart from Bansal, those who attended it include BJP national joint general secretary (organisation) Shiv Prakash, the party’s state in-charge for the Lok Sabha polls, Thawar Chand Gehlot, its former state president Manohar Kant Dyani and former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.

Giving details of the campaign programme, Bansal said the BJP’s star campaigners led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi would address a series of election rallies in the state ahead of the general elections.

On April 1, Union minister Rajnath Singh will address election rallies in Jhabreda (Haridwar), Kotdwar, and Almora.

Two days later, BJP chief Amit Shah is slated to address an election rally in Uttarkashi followed by one more public meeting to be held in Haldwani on April 8. On April 5, Modi is slated to address an election rally in Dehradun.

A day before that Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will address a rally each in Roorkee and Kashipur. Union ministers Smriti Irani, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain are also slated to address election rallies.

Former state BJP chief Dhyani said the campaign strategy has been chalked out in a manner that party leaders would visit all the assembly segments of the five Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

“Our star campaigners from the party’s state unit will also address election rallies in areas, which would be left out after the campaigning by our central leaders,” he said.

Dhyani said as part of the intensified election campaign not only would election rallies be addressed by the BJP’s central and state leaders but a separate campaign would also be carried out by the party cadre across the state.

“The last and final phase of the election campaign will continue to be two-pronged,” he said.

One part of it would centre around the party’s nationalistic campaign narrative, which would be focussed on PM Modi’s capability to defend the country’s borders.

“Modiji amply proved that by allowing surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The move followed the terrorist attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed in Kashmir in 2016,” Dhyani said.

“Similarly, he again proved that recently by allowing airstrikes on a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, which followed after our 44 paramilitary jawans were killed in a terrorist attack in Kashmir.”

Conversely, the previous Congress-led UPA government chose not to allow counter strikes to avenge the terrorist attack in Mumbai, which would be a part of the BJP’s campaign narrative.

“We have therefore an upper hand over that party (Congress) as it is neither organisationally strong compared to us, nor does it have a leader who can match Modiji’s decisive leadership,” Dhayani said.

First Published:
Apr 01, 2019 16:49 IST

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