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Gujarat Elections: BJP keen to break Congress record

The party is keen on breaking the 149-seat record set by Congress under Madhavsinh Solanki in February 1985, when only 11 BJP MLAs were elected.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 30, 2017, 01.03 AM IST
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In the last leg of campaign, BJP has strengthened its outreach in 165 constituencies where the party has won at least twice since the 1990s.
In the last leg of campaign, BJP has strengthened its outreach in 165 constituencies where the party has won at least twice since the 1990s.
AHMEDABAD: PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah announced the target of winning 150 seats in Gujarat only after the party did intensive booth-level work for over two years, as per state BJP leaders.

The party is keen on breaking the 149-seat record set by Congress under Madhavsinh Solanki in February 1985, when only 11 BJP MLAs were elected.

In the last leg of campaign, BJP has strengthened its outreach in 165 constituencies where the party has won at least twice since the 1990s. “Our organisation is very strong in these places and, hence, it will be easier to win these seats,” a BJP leader said. BJP’s campaign has relied on its five main outreach programmes:

The Gujarat Gaurav Yatra and Mahasamparak Abhiyan connected the party with voters in most municipal areas and a day before the PM’s rallies, the party held sabhas across the state.

Earlier, Shah met over 25,000 ‘karyakartas’ in charge of ‘shaktikendras’ to urge them to work hard to ensure each ‘page pramukh’ (those in charge of printed pages of voter’s list) brings at least 50 voters to the booth. “There are 50,128 booths in Gujarat. Each booth has 800 to 900 voters. A shaktikendra comprises four to five booths,” a BJP leader said.

PM’s campaigns in Dhari, Morbi and Jasdan were organised to influence voters in at least 20-25 seats in each area. BJP plans programmes soon to connect with cotton and groundnut farmers, some of whom are upset with the government policies.

Additionally, every ‘vistarak’ has been asked to engage with people and paste a sticker on each house that comes under his responsibility. They are expected to make at least three rounds to houses allotted to them.

BJP leaders have also been looking at the Congress campaign. “Our inference is that the Congress booth management will not work as the party doesn’t have units at district levels. The Vaghela factor will also help BJP as he still holds sway in some seats of Banaskantha and parts of North Gujarat,” said a BJP leader.

BJP spokesperson Jagdish Bhavsar said that if the party could win 325 seats in UP getting 150 seats in Gujarat "will not be a problem."

"Also Modi as a symbol of gujarati pride works the most here," he said.

The party is also banking heavily on the tribal electorate that comprises 14 per cent in the State.Tribal areas from Ambaji to Umargaon which has 26 seats also among its focus areas. State Party President Jitu Vaghani himself has carried out a Adivasi gaurav yatra here.

Gujarat is spread across three regions of the State right from Ambaji in the North, to Godhra in Central Gujarat to Umargaon in the South and comprises four parliamentary constituencies — Dahod, Chhota Udepur, Bardoli and Valsad.Adivasi voters influence other Lok Sabha constituencies, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Panchmahals, Bharuch and Navsari, all of which are presently with the BJP.

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