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Posted at: Apr 20, 2019, 6:56 AM; last updated: Apr 20, 2019, 8:57 AM (IST)

Eying clean sweep, BJP targets vote share increase

Eying clean sweep, BJP targets vote share increase

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 19

Striving to retain all four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh, which goes to polls on May 19, the BJP is targeting 2 to 5 per cent increase in vote bank with focus on effective booth-level management and exhorting Panna Pramukhs to play pro-active role to garner more support.

The role of Panna Pramukhs is significant as the party has deputed about 1,46,000 of them (each prabhari given responsibility for a panna – one page) for four parliamentary constituencies to maintain contact with every voter. In case each Panna Pramukh is able to woo additional one to two voters on his page, the expansion of vote bank would be exponential.

Each Panna Pramukh has been allotted one page of the voters’ list and it would be convenient for him to make a direct contact with the persons on his page, which is around 30 (8-10 families), create awareness about the schemes and the initiatives of the Central and state governments and approach them personally, state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti told The Tribune. Further, there is division of work and everybody has been assigned a specific responsibility, which motivates them to work dedicatedly, he added.

There are about 7,723 booths in the state and if a Panna Pramukh can woo 10 to 30 persons at a booth level, the difference of votes would be between 2 and 5 per cent, which would ensure victory of the party, he said. “The initiative increases chances of victory, besides enthusing the workers who feel important and useful for the party,” he stated. The BJP has already held Tridev conventions in all four Lok Sabha constituencies, addressed by senior Central leaders, in which Booth Palak, booth president and polling agent participated. The programme was a great success and was emulated by other state units, said party vice-president Ganesh Dutt. The conventions set the ball rolling. Now the party is fully geared for polls, he maintained. The Panna Pramukh, acting as a representative of the candidate, would also keep account of voters in each page, who exercised their votes, giving a fair idea of the election trend. The idea was initiated as it was not humanly possible for the Lok Sabha candidates to personally approach each voter. In 2014 elections, the BJP secured 53.85 per cent votes, compared to 49.58 per cent in 2009, while the Congress got 41.07 per cent and 45.61 per cent votes in 2014 and 2009, respectively. The BJP is aiming at a clean sweep, apart from increasing its vote share of 2014 elections.

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