The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is back to its 2014 dream team to ensure victory for the party in the crucial Gujarat elections.
National president Amit Shah has brought in 10 experienced leaders, including Union ministers, from the 2014 Lok Sabha election team who he believes could help the party win the state convincingly.
Party sources say that the coming assembly elections in Gujarat are going to be different — and difficult — from the past as the BJP, for the first time, is facing the polls without Narendra Modi as chief minister.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Chief Mohan Bhagwat with BJP National Chief Amit Shah
Sources in the party, however, add that both PM Modi and Amit Shah are aware of this fact and are taking all steps to ensure that this does not affect the party’s poll prospects.
To take the feedback on the functioning of over 10 lakh ‘ Panna Pramukhs’ and 58,000 booth handlers, Shah has handed over the task to the organisation in-charge, Bhikubhai Dalsaniya.
He is the man who co-ordinates with the party’s foot soldiers and helps Shah and his core team form key strategies from time to time.
Dalsaniya has been working in the party as the organisation in-charge since 2004, and has extensively worked in two Lok Sabha elections and as many Assembly polls.
Based on the feedback, the core team devises its social media strategies that are implemented by the party’s global convener, Vijay Chauthaiwala, who — with Pankaj Shukla — has been managing the social media for PM Modi since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India at Hyderabad House during a visit to India on November 9, 2017 in New Delhi, India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (stock image)
Chauthaiwala is seen to be very close to both Shah and Modi. The responsibility of media management and representation of any issue in the media is bestowed upon Sanjay Mayukh, BJP’s national media head, along with Bhupendra Yadav, party’s secretary general.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley gives verbal briefs on what should be the official statement on any issue.
Anil Jain, national general secretary, takes the feedback from all call centres in the 182 Assembly seats.
He decides where and which minister’s or chief minister’s rally should be organised. Accordingly, all the arrangements pertaining to rallies are done as per Jain’s instructions.
The problem solvers for all candidates and district heads are Ram Lal and Bhupendra Yadav.
BJP is taking no chance as it is facing polls for the first time without Modi as CM
They are directly in touch with them and solve all any issues they face. The BJP has divided Gujarat into four zones, each under the command of a Union minister.
Narendra Singh Tomar, for instance, has been told to look after Central Gujarat and 50 seats in Ahmadabad.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman is handling 36 seats in Surat, 45 seats of West zone and 42 seats of north zone and Ahmedabad.
As for Shah, he is busy conducting meetings with chief minister Vijay Rupani, deputy chief minister Nitinbhai Patel, along with Bhupendra Yadav, national general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal, Anil Jain and Bhikubhai Dalsaniya.
If other senior ministers become part of the campaigning process, they too are involved in the meeting.
Shah takes a note of the development during the day and decides about the next day’s election strategy.
Interestingly, this is the fourth time in a row that finance minister Arun Jaitley has been made the party’s in charge of the state polls.