BJP readies anti-Congress CD campaign (Uttar Pradesh Newsletter)
Lucknow, Sep 8 (IANS) Following its central leadership, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh has decided to launch an audiovisual campaign across the state against the Congress on its "complicity" in corruption scandals and "educate" people about the intricacies of the coal block allocations.
"The issue will be taken to the people. But before that, we want to educate our workers on the scams that have rocked the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government and complicity of the Congress in them," said Laxmikant Bajpayi, the state BJP president.
The CD campaign, BJP sources said, was part of a larger campaign by the party to take on arch-rival Congress.
The BJP central leadership Friday announced it would take the coal block allocations issue to the masses and inform people on why they stalled parliament and how the Congress had benefited from the allotments.
In the first phase, party sources said, around 1,000 such CDs would be distributed to the workers in the next one month.
"We will distribute these CDs among our district and block-level workers so that they can inform the people about the wrong doings of the Congress," BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak told IANS.
The CDs will contain newspaper cuttings, editorials, statistics and findings of the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General)," a source in the party said. While English news articles would form fringe material, reports from the vernacular press would be abundant, said the source.
The BJP did not allow parliament to function for 13 of the 20 days of parliament's monsoon session, demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation and cancellation of the 142 coal blocks given by the UPA government during 2006-09 after a CAG report said private players had made windfall gains worth Rs.1.86 lakh crore.
The BJP's state unit is also planning to hold Samjho-Jaano (Know and Understand) sessions with senior party workers and office-bearers so that party supporters do not falter while presenting facts to the people about the alleged scams.
Other than highlighting the alleged irregularities in coal block allocations, the BJP is also planning a CD series on the recent ethnic violence in Assam. "The people need to be made aware of the dangerous game the Congress is playing for the sake of vote bank politics," said Pathak.
BJP leaders said the CD drive would also give the party a chance to explain why it had stalled parliament's monsoon session. Some of our supporters had questions about our tough stand in parliament. We'll seek to clarify them through the CDs." said a party leader.
Later, a party source said, a major publicity campaign would be launched against the scams targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and ministers from the state.
With 80 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs in the next general elections, BJP leaders do not want to let go of any opportunity.
Buoyed by its recent win in the urban body polls, the BJP is also trying to woo the middle class which, a leader said, was "disgusted and disillusioned with the Congress".
The BJP will also open a toll-free number to "connect directly" to the people.
The party recently launched a membership drive, which, it said, drew more people than expected.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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