It is inevitable that by today evening will see the BJP back in power in Madhya Pradesh. It will be a major challenge for Shivraj Singh to not only get back to power but to stay on in power as his continuance is dependent on the results of the 24 bye-elections that will have to be filled within the next 6 months to full the Assembly vacancies caused by the 22 resignations and 2 earlier vacancies.
In my view, this is what the priorities of the new BJP Government should be:
Declare that its first and topmost priority is securing the State against the onset of Corona Virus, on which MP has been extremely fortunate and lucky so far. For this the following steps need to be taken:
- Immediately stop all Bus Services from out of State into entering MP till March 31.
- Initiate fumigation and disinfecting of all Public places like– Bus Stands, railway Stations, hospitals, Municipal Offices District and High Courts, Prisons, Tourist Spots
- Request all PSUs to shut down operations till March 31 and re-open in phase thereafter based on the situation prevailing till then.
- Ask all Schools to promote students to the next Class for Classes 1 to 8 without any Final, year-end Exams. This will not only prevent congregation of students for the examination but also relieve students and parents alike of mental anxiety and tension which is also very important in this time of crises.
- Order all Cinema Halls and Air- Conditioned Malls Closed till March 31, 2020.
- Order all other shops to be open only on alternative days.
- Issue immediate appeal to all people to follow the appeal of the PM to ensure that
the young (below 10) and the elderly (above 65) do not come out of their houses for the next 2 week’s
Sunday’s Janata Curfew should be made a resounding success – be careful to strongly APPEAL but not threaten at all; especially caution your over-enthusiastic Ministers and party Karyakartas to not make any threatening kind of statements on this matter.
Set up a Chief Minister’s Corona Virus Protection Fund and ask for generous donation from Industries and the common citizen. This should be a distinctly separate fund and not mixed up with the Consolidated Fund nor used for any other purpose– such separation and integrity of deployment is extremely important.
- Ask all Pharma Industries in the State to either donate palliative medicines or Testing Kits.
- Install and Increase Testing facility in every District.
- All expenses incurred by Companies and donations given by industry/individuals should be made a tax free expense.
Make a special overture and effort to woo the farming community who had felt neglected and cheated by your previous administration. NO matter that the truth is different but the perception was clearly of dissatisfaction.
- Hence the CM, Finance Minister and Food & Agriculture Minister should undertake a whirlwind tour of the entire state to meet with farmer’s bodies, co-operatives to give them a personal hearing, understand what is causing them difficulty/ heartburn and try to expeditiously address these concerns.
- This should be done on priority, and with a sense of urgency, particularly in matters of payment of Fasal Bema Yojana and Kisan Samman Yojana.
- In case of the latter, use the BJP party members to ensure 100% registration of eligible farmers so that they receive their first instalment of Rs. 2,000/- at the earliest.
Announce and implement an urgent budget for upgrading of infrastructure on the following 3 area where maximum number of common citizens, particularly form the lower economic strata come;
- Bus Stands
- Municipal Hospitals and
- District Courts
The infrastructure improvement in these areas will be very visible, and favorably impact a huge segment of the regularly voting population, which only can ensure your continuance in power.
Immediately reverse all transfer and appointment decision of the Kamalnath Government in the last one month– do not feel shy or hesitant. Be ruthless and reverse them immediately.
Similarly seek the resignation of all persons appointed by the Kamalnath Government in various Public & Autonomous Bodies (just as they had done) or sack them immediately; you must show that you are not only decisive but can be rough and tough.
Thereafter, immediately appoint or reappoint your own persons.
Have a detailed and sincere dialogue with civil society of the comprising Professors/Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers, Journalists, Retired Govt. Servants and Judges, Industrialists and leading farmers and agriculture experts and ask them what they think are the priorities the Government should have for rapid development of the State.
- This will give a huge and actionable “wish-list” of what the people of the Sate want and if you act on these you will get widespread Public Support.
- Please video record all such dialogue and broadcast it in instalments so that there is complete transparency about what was asked and what was finally done.
To ensure victory in 24 bye-elections due in the next 6 months, do the following, from Day 1 :
- Constitute 1000 man BJP Karyakarta teams for each constituency.
- This team will have the responsibility that each member visits at least 400 homes in the next 5 months i.e. 80 homes per month i.e. 5 homes everyday for 16 days in each month.
- This will enable 4 lakh homes to be visited in the constituency (80 homes per month X 5 Months X 1000 Karyakartas). Each constituency is estimated to have approx. 1 Lakh homes which means that, in the space of 5 months, each household can be visited 4 times by this team to seek votes for the election. It is this JAN SAMPARK that will win you the election, not merely the JAN SABHAS, of which BJP is rather fond of.
- Remember, massive JAN SABHAS only gets you good media coverage; it is only the JAN SAMPARK at the person-to-person level that will get you the votes.
- So do not make the mistake of the last election of believing that if Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and a few Central leaders come and hold Road Shows and big public meetings you will win the elections; time and again this had been proved to be wrong (see Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, & Delhi)
- The Central leadership can only give you strength and morale boost– the foundational solidity of your efforts can only come if your Karyakartas carry out a rigorous, planned and structured “Jan Sampark” to meet each and every potential voter, to knock on each and every door, to hear the complaints, woes and expectations of each and every family.
- Such close touch with the voter will give you a lot of strength in not only getting their support but in also calling upon them to come out and vote.
Hemendra k. Varma, Mumbai
20 March 2020