Two ‘war rooms’ set up in Bhopal to implement the booth-level tactics suggested by Kamal Nath on the ground
The much-vaunted booth management of the BJP-RSS, which has helped the party win elections in very close contests in the past, is facing a similar challenge from the Congress in Madhya Pradesh this time around.
Some of the measures introduced and implemented by former Chief Minister Kamal Nath to ensure that the Congress is victorious this time in the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh includes, a specialized team of professionals from various fields, including media professionals, election experts, social media experts and graphic designers, who are handling the micro-management of the campaigns at the grassroots level.
This special team, which is keeping an eye on the preparations for the elections from Bhopal, is working to further strengthen the already established election system of the Congress party. This team is doing election management in conjunction with the already available resources of the Congress.
Kamal Nath, popularly called “Saheb”, has set up two “war rooms” in Bhopal, aimed at implementing the grassroots and booth-level tactics suggested by him on the ground.
This election micromanagement, for which Kamal Nath is famous, includes the creation of a mobile app for election day that will help “war room” members track party workers and coordinate with them on election day. Both the “war rooms” are working under the close supervision of Nakul Nath, who is Kamal Nath’s son and the Lok Sabha member from Chhindwara. In January this year, Nakul was made a member of the party’s 21-member Political Affairs Committee of Madhya Pradesh, of which his father is also a member.
Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections are now less than 150 days away. In 2018, the election was announced on 6 October. According to a senior member of the team, the election management teams are conducting surveys at regular intervals to assess the image and winnability of existing and potential candidates.
“It may sound cliche, but this time the results of the surveys and winnability of the prospective candidates will decide who will get tickets from the Congress and the surveys will also help to inform the candidates of the issues they need to work on. The only exception to this could be some senior leaders who, despite not being in a winning position, may get tickets because of their stature. But there will be very few such cases,” a senior party functionary told The Sunday Guardian.
As per these surveys, the party is likely to stop at 125-135 seats out of the 230 seats in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. It is noteworthy to mention here that this survey is being conducted by four different agencies so that a transparent picture can emerge.
To put it in perspective, in the 2018 elections, the work of coordination with the party workers at the booth level was done by 200 party workers sitting in Bhopal. These workers handled the mobile phones that were given to the booth workers so that they could keep the party headquarters updated about the situation on the ground and what challenges they were facing. This time, all such activities will be done through a mobile app, which has been specially developed by the party.