Page Pramukhs: Amit Shah's Silent Army To Reach The Last Voter in Gujarat
The responsibility of the page pramukh is to ensure that he or she was in touch with every single voter on the page and spread the party's message.
File photo of BJP National President Amit Shah. (Getty Images)
Surat: With the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh now concluded, Amit Shah has turned his undivided gaze to Gujarat. The BJP president is increasingly spending more time on his home turf but according to party sources, the micro-level strategy has already been mapped out. Shah's trump card, a Gujarat BJP leader, said it was to appoint BJP supporters across the state as the local "page pramukh". This is the strategist’s way to ensure last-mile campaigning, the source said.
"Around six months ago, Shah held a meeting with several key functionaries and announced that the party was creating a new post of 'page pramukh' for the Gujarat elections. We were all confused because we had never heard that term before but he went on to explain," a BJP source said.
"You see, every constituency has several booths and every polling booth has its voter list. These voter lists run into several pages and each page has the names of 20-30 voters. The idea is to take one person from every page and appoint them as the BJP's page pramukh."
The responsibility of the page pramukh, another BJP leader said, was to ensure that he or she was in touch with every single voter on their page and spread the party's message ahead of the polls. "On polling day, the page pramukh will make sure that the people listed on his or her page don't have any problem in getting to the polling booth. It is a mammoth task and won't be easy to manage, but it's a masterstroke if we can pull it off."
This, the source added, will follow a pyramidal structure. Gujarat will have over 45,000 polling booths set up in its 182 Vidhan Sabha constituencies. BJP has also set up 'Shakti Kendras', each of which will have the responsibility to look after the area under 5-6 polling booths. Each constituency area has around 50 polling booths. The page pramukh will be answerable to the booth in charge, who in turn will be answerable to their respective Shakti Kendras. The Shakti Kendra will be accountable to the local MLA or Vidhan Sabha in charge, who, in turn, will report to BJP's state leadership.
While it is not clear how many people BJP has actually enlisted as 'page pramukh', party leaders say that both macro and micro-campaigns are important to win elections. "This is in line with the way Amitbhai has been running the party. He likes to delegate work at all levels and it has proven to be effective," a leader said.
Meanwhile, the party has also planned a massive carpet bombing campaign with rallies addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, a host of Union Minister and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states. The party's initial focus will be on the 89 seats that will go to polls in the first phase on December 9.
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