In a bid to gauge public sentiment ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jammu and Kashmir has launched its ambitious ‘Gaon Chalo Abhiyaan’. Commencing yesterday and set to continue until February 10, this campaign involves over 10,000 party workers immersing themselves in the remote villages of the region. Their primary objective: to collect feedback from residents, with a target of filling 4,500 feedback forms, which the BJP views as crucial input for the impending polls.
A senior BJP official, speaking to The Daily Guardian, emphasized the campaign’s focus on understanding the ground realities. The feedback will not only assess the possibility of anti-incumbency in constituencies like Udhampur and Jammu, represented by MoS PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore respectively, but also on seats like Rajouri-Anantnag, where the BJP is eyeing victory. The latter’s prospects have been buoyed by the recent granting of Scheduled Tribe status to the Pahari community, with the relevant bill having been passed in the Lok Sabha and set for consideration in the Rajya Sabha today.
BJP’s General Secretary (Organization), Ashok Koul, elaborated on the extensive outreach efforts, highlighting the involvement of over 10,000 activists and leaders who will visit every village in rural areas and cover each ward in urban zones. Koul stressed the importance of interacting with various segments of society, including farmers, women, and youth, to apprise them of the Modi government’s policies and programs aimed at societal upliftment. Additionally, leaders and workers will spend nights in the assigned villages or wards, listening to people’s concerns and working towards their resolution.
Furthermore, Koul outlined BJP’s commitment to presenting its performance report to the people, underscoring Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a developed India, ‘Viksit Bharat’, by 2047. The party aims to garner support across rural and urban areas to secure a third consecutive term at the center.
In Jammu district, the ‘Gaon Chalo Abhiyan’ aims to cover 262 booths and 7 Panchayats. Parmod Kapahi, BJP’s District President, attributed the party’s increased vote share in rural areas—from 30.3% in 2014 to 37.6% in 2019—to the popularity of Prime Minister Modi and the success of various welfare schemes. Notably, schemes like PM Awas Yojna (housing for the poor), Har Ghar Nal (piped water supply), and the construction of toilets have cut across caste and religious lines, resonating with beneficiaries regardless of their background.
The campaign underscores BJP’s concerted efforts to engage with the electorate at the grassroots level, seeking to understand their concerns and aspirations while showcasing its developmental agenda ahead of the crucial elections.