While several workers had been given offs on Monday because they had been slogging tirelessly during the seven-phase general election, preparations were in full swing for May 23, when the results will be announced, a BJP worker said.
Buoyed by exit poll predictions, the BJP has started preparation to celebrate Lok Sabha election results on May 23 in a big way at the party headquarters here. Most exit polls Sunday forecast another term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with some of them projecting that BJP-led NDA will get more than 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha.
Party workers at the BJP headquarters Monday were enthused and confident of the massive victory right from the beginning of the polls. While several workers had been given offs on Monday because they had been slogging tirelessly during the seven-phase general election, preparations were in full swing for May 23, when the results will be announced, a BJP worker said.
The party workers were busy overseeing the preparations for the D-Day and said the exit polls had underlined what they were always confident about. “Our entire focus had shifted to elections and the leaves of everyone were cancelled. We were working 24X7 during the election time and were confident that we will breach the 300 mark,” said Jitendra Rawat of BJP’s media cell.
Sameer Chhabra, a BJP worker from Punjab, who was in Delhi for some work, said he wanted to return to his hometown quickly as he wanted to celebrate with his people on May 23. “Five generations of my family have been associated with the party. My great-grandfather was associated with Jan Sangh, while my aunts worked for the Rashtriya Sevika Samitim,” Chhabra, who also owns a shop in Punjab’s Mansa, said.
“My wife was from a family of traditional Congress voters and after our marriage, I sent her to a camp of the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti and within 15 days she understood what the philosophy of Sangh and the BJP meant. Now she is a BJP supporter and even my in-laws have shifted their allegiance to the BJP,” he said. He said this time they worked a lot harder than in 2014 and had to convey information about Modi’s achievements to the public.
“We used to convince traditional Congress voters by telling them that the grand old party was formed with an agenda to overthrow the British government, but now it is only a party of familyism. But in the BJP, we do not know who will be the party chief after Amit Shah. Every worker here can become a Modi or Shah,” he said.
Krishan Chand Bansal, 63, another BJP worker who came in contact with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at the age of six, said it does not matter whether the party wins or loses. “Our job is to work for the betterment of people and serve them. Now we have started working for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
The social media and IT cell of the BJP has had a major role to play in this election and a worker from the team, requesting anonymity said, they started preparation for the 2019 elections a year after they won the last Lok Sabha polls. “Even the exit polls take data from us. We are on ShareChat and have one lakh posts there and in future, it might be the biggest social media platform. We knew that Facebook and Twitter will have a role to play during these polls, but they have reached a saturation level. This time, WhatsApp was the major game changer.
“We have formed about two lakh WhatsApp groups in the last six months across India with 256 members each. We used to disseminate information through these groups. Our campaign involved highlighting the achievements of the government, attacking the opposition, establishing an emotional connect with people,” the worker said.
Exit polls by News 18-Ipsos, India Today-Axis and News 24-Chanakya projected 336, 339-368 and 336-364 seats respectively for the NDA, with the BJP tipped to cross the majority on its own for another term after the 2014 polls. However, two exit polls — one by ABP News-Nielsen and another by Neta-News X — said the ruling alliance may fall short of a majority. ABP News forecast 267 and NewsX 242 seats for the ruling NDA. Elections to 542 seats of the 543-member Lok Sabha ended Sunday.
The Election Commission has deferred polls for Vellore in Tamil Nadu over allegations of abuse of money power. The counting of votes is slated for May 23.