Narendra Modi tells Bharatiya Janata Party workers to spread wings, cover households

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 19 2014, 04:10am hrs
Narendra Modi today asked the Bharatiya Janata Party rank and file to concentrate on running a grounded election campaign focussing on booths and households as he said polls are not won through rallies and TV debates.

Addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party National Council here, Modi gave simple, common sensical suggestions to the party cadre ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Striking a note of sarcasm, the Gujarat Chief Minister said "we cannot beat Congress in their way of running a campaign. We do not have the ability to spend such money, misuse state machinery or resort to any dirty tricks. The power we have is the power of organisation."

He asked party workers to touch an emotional cord with people when they go on a door-to-door campaign. "When you go to collect 'one note' for the party to 10 crore families, you should ask them what they want from their government, ask them don't you want change. Talk to them about issues they are emotional about," he said.

Narendra Modi, a former General Secretary (Organisation) of Bharatiya Janata Party, said he is speaking as a party organisation man and not as the PM candidate of the party.

"The more grounded our campaign is, the greater will be its benefit. A poll victory takes birth in a polling booth and not in public rallies, TV debates, posters or through magazines... Losing in a polling booth does not win you elections," Narendra Modi said.

He told party workers that in each booth, which has around 700 votes, they should try to ensure that 350 votes are cast for Bharatiya Janata Party. "This means you have to reach out to 100 families per booth," he said.

Some of the suggestions which struck an instant cord with the cadre was to get Bharatiya Janata Party symbol lotus applied in henna on the palms of 10 crore women across the country by February end, show Bharatiya Janata Party videos to groups of 25-30 women in different places every day, and touching an emotional cord with people.

"Just as a wind blowing with a velocity of 200 Km per hour cannot fill a bicycle tube, we cannot win unless the wave in our favour is concentrated at the booth level," Narendra Modi said.

Bharatiya Janata Party's PM candidate said any party which gets 20 crore votes will form the next government.

"Since our target is to reach out to 10 crore families in our one-note, one-vote programme, it would mean 20 crore individuals would be covered," Narendra Modi said, adding most people who pay for Bharatiya Janata Party funds are likely to also vote for the party.

He said even the Run-for-Unity race had drawn lakhs of people to take part.

Narendra Modi, known for his pragmatic approach, emphasised that the party cadre should not get complacent about victory even as he claimed the wave seen in Bharatiya Janata Party's favour in 2014 is "unprecedented".

He said there is a lot of enthusiasm among the people about Bharatiya Janata Party and party should welcome all sections- including the young, college students and professionals- to the party-fold.

Narendra Modi made the point that housewives "watch TV serials and don't see news channels" and this calls for a different strategy to tap them. A door-to-door approach and holding public viewing sessions of Bharatiya Janata Party promos for groups of women would help. He set a target of 1,000 such shows for groups of 30 women for each session.