BJP is eyeing pan-India dominance as it has targeted to make inroads in states like West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. But the party has so far failed to achieve its targeted number of full-timers to work in these states, according to Indian Express report. The ruling party at the Centre wanted to gain in the aforementioned states so that if it suffers losses in the Hindi belt, it will still be able to maintain upper hand in the Lok Sabha. BJP has started Vistarak (expansion)’ drive. But data on BJP chief Amit Shah-led ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Karya Vistar Yojana’ shows that the party has not been able to achieve its targeted number of full-timers to work in the constituencies of these states. The party could rope in just 470 full-timers, to work dedicatedly for six months to one year for the 1,109 constituencies in West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The data were presented during the recent party conclave late last month.
Shah himself had went on an intense 95-day nationwide campaign (April to September this year) on the Vistarak programme to mark the birth centenary year of Deendayal Upadhyay, wanted a full-timer for each Assembly constituency. According to the data, in poll-bound Karnataka — where the BJP is considered to have a strong organisational base — the party got only 51 full-timers for the 224 Assembly constituencies. Among them, only three are women, while it didn’t get a single minority member, either Christian or Muslim, for its campaign. The data says it needs at least 200 more full-timers in the state, scheduled to go to polls early next year.
In Andhra Pradesh, which has 175 constituencies, the party got only 16 full-timers for a year, and two for six months. For Telangana, (119 constituencies), the figure is 91; in Kerala (140 constituencies), which is considered a prestige battleground for Shah and the RSS, the party roped in just 31 full-timers for one year, and 10 for six months. For the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, the party got 108 full-timers for one year, but data says the party requires 84 more. In West Bengal (294 Assembly constituencies), the party recorded only 93 full-timers. The BJP’s campaign in Odisha has yielded better results: it has got 119 full-timers to work for the party for six months to one year, the IE report says.
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Shah is expected to draw full-timers to work until 2019 elections from those who had volunteered to dedicate six-12 months to party work as part of the Deendayal Upadhyay Vistarak project announced at the party’s national executive meeting in September last year.