The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP plans bond with workers

New Delhi, Jan. 11: With the 2004 Lok Sabha elections looming on the horizon, the BJP constituted a committee of ministers who will take turns to sit in the party’s central headquarters everyday to interact with workers.

A group of three Central ministers are expected to be present on any given day at the BJP headquarters on 11, Ashoka Road to hear out the problems of workers from Delhi and the states. A party official would be available to help them.

The committee comprises Ananth Kumar, Jual Oran, Sumitra Mahajan, Jaywanti Mehta, Sahib Singh Verma, Ram Naik, B.C. Khanduri, Bandaru Dattatreya, N.K. Annasaheb Patil, Subhash Maharia, Sanjay Paswan, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The BJP says more ministers may be added to the group of leaders who were chosen for being “worker friendly” and “more responsive than the others to people’s problems”.

BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu has convened a meeting of the general secretaries and central ministers of Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra on January 19 to see how their resources can be collectively used for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, said party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

The BJP felt its strategy to involve other states in Gujarat paid off in that it projected an image of the party’s overall strength. The leaders from outside addressed the various ethnic groups in the state, it added.

Naidu proposed to set up a research and analysis wing, on the lines of the Congress’ manifesto implementation committee, to get feedback from the party organisation in states where it was in Opposition.

The wing will draw up a list of “suitable” candidates for each constituency in poll-bound states. It will also chart out issues to be taken up in during poll campaigns, so that the spadework is done before the central strategists get down to the nitty-gritties of election management.

Naidu will inaugurate the party’s central video-conferencing system, linking the BJP’s central headquarters and state headquarters, on January 20. The BJP will be the second political party in India to have such a system after the Telugu Desam Party.

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