The troops have been trained, and now they are waiting for the D-Day. No, not about the Indian army, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which claims to have trained 1.5 million party workers to fight the forthcoming elections.
“The training programme called Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Prashikshan Mahabhiyan has been on for the last four years, and it is with this reserve of political cadre that the BJP is approaching the national elections 2019,” said party general secretary Muralidhar Rao. He claims it to be “a unique and unprecedented experiment in the history of the BJP.”
The programme began in 2015 after a “flood” of people got attracted to the party during the polls and the massive membership drive that bagged them 110 million members making it the largest political party in the world. “We followed it up with a maha sampark abhiyan (mass contact programme) by which the new members were contacted in their homes by party workers. The third stage was the national training programme, claimed to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
“Under this we trained workers at four levels from mandals to district to state and national level,” said Muralidhar Rao. “This has a particular format and curriculum for each segment and a specific schedule for training. It was one-and-half days at mandal level, four-and-half days at national level.”
Booklets were prepared for each section of workers on the party's organisational and ideological issues. Major national, economic and international issues were also covered. All top BJP leaders participated at various levels.
The first phase was to train one and half million workers. In the second phase, the training programme was taken to all wings of the organisation such as kisan morcha, SC/ST morcha, mahila morcha, yuva morcha, media, OBC morcha, minority morcha, and the secretarial staff. “For this we prepared new literature, specific to the concerned areas.... In all, we produced two dozen booklets,” said Rao.
Rao claims that nothing of this kind has been attemped anywhere in the world. He expect the large pool of trained party workers will swing the polls in favour of the party, and also throw up leaders of the future.