Modi, Sangh parivar slip into election mode

Modi, Sangh parivar slip into election mode

Modi, Sangh parivar slip into election mode

The Prime Minister on Friday used the Narendra Modi App to “interact with beneficiaries of Digital India”, a move seen as an effort to reach out to youths ahead of the general election, due next summer.

At Surajkund, Haryana, on Delhi’s outskirts, RSS and BJP leaders held a closed-door meeting, making it increasingly clear the government and the party had entered election mode.

A three-day meeting of BJP organisational secretaries from across the country is under way in Surajkund, ostensibly to strategise for the next round of state elections later this year and the Lok Sabha polls.

Senior BJP and Sangh leaders, including BJP president Amit Shah, are participating in the meeting. Sources said that top of the agenda was how to tackle the growing Opposition unity.

Prime Minister Modi spent the morning using the Narendra Modi App to tell the youth about his government’s achievement in the field of empowering citizens digitally.

In the evening he hosted a dinner for Sangh and BJP leaders at his official residence to seek feedback on the Surajkund meeting, sources said.

Both events are being seen as preparatory exercises for the upcoming slew of elections, particularly against the backdrop of the wider Opposition appearing to close ranks both for the state and Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP has been unnerved by a series of recent by-election defeats at the hands of a united Opposition. The Sangh parivar is therefore putting its heads together to try and find a way of overcoming a united Opposition, BJP sources said.

Modi has in recent times been regularly using the digital platform, the Narendra Modi App, to interact with the beneficiaries of various government schemes — a move seen as a clever way of canvassing votes.

Friday’s interaction was streamed live on Facebook, and the party and the government went all out to advertise it on other social media platforms. “We have ensured that the advantages of technology are not restricted to a select few but are there for all sections of society,” Modi said.

“We strengthened the network of Common Service Centres. Three lakh such centres have been opened so far.”

Mostly young people — including the so-called “village level entrepreneurs” and newly employed youths —- had assembled at various centres across the country to listen to Modi and interact with him. The youths told the Prime Minister how they had empowered themselves and others by using the facilities offered by the government’s digital drive.

The entire effort seemed a concerted effort by the government to get people to laud its effort and generate a favourable atmosphere.

BJP sources said that Modi would hold many more similar sessions over the various welfare schemes to reach out to voters before the upcoming elections.

The BJP and Sangh leaderships, the sources said, had realised that a united Opposition would pose a big challenge in all the upcoming polls.

Already, many rounds of coordination meetings, whose deliberations have been kept under wraps, have been held among the various Sangh fronts and the BJP. More would be held in the days to come.

Tejkaran Harsh

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