Blood is certainly thicker than everything else. But now, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks to expand its footprint in Uttar Pradesh, especially in places where it is weak, the party is set to use blood as an important instrument to consolidate political loyalties.
And so, as part of its expansion plans in the state, where it just romped home to power with a landslide, the party now intends to hold blood donation and blood testing camps at all block and district levels on August 14, on the eve of the country's 70th Independence Day. After this, a detailed "blood directory" will be printed and kept available at the block level to give information of the availability of donors of different blood groups during medical and other emergencies.
Confirming the move, state BJP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that a list of donors owing allegiance to the party would be made available at all government hospitals, primary and community health centres. Since stocking such a large number of blood donors — 100 units per block — was not possible, this will be an "on call" list for all future emergencies and need of blood, he added.
The blood listing drive is part of an expansion plan that the BJP is set to soon roll out. Party President Amit Shah has asked office-bearers to select dedicated full-timers on an honorary basis who will give their time and energy to take the BJP flag to places it has either no presence or poor infiltration.
One-hundred-and-sixteen such "full timers" have been identified by the state unit for one year's service and 16 persons have been selected who would go to other states to spread the message of the BJP in the birth centenary year of its ideologue, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.
"The idea is to ensure that after coming to power, the organisational structure keeps moving and is not rusted in the post-poll glory period," a senior minister told IANS. The party has also set a target of 20,000 such "expansion ambassadors" who will give a fortnight to the party every year. As many as 18,000 names have already been picked from the applications received by the party headquarters in Lucknow. From May 10 to 25, senior office bearers will spend a fortnight in such untouched sectors.
The party has also prepared a list of 35-40 "key areas" of society which need to be tapped in its quest for further, complete and absolute power and reach. These include temples and monasteries, journalists, advocates, teachers, doctors, chartered accountants, NGOs and trade unions. A listing of such groups is under way and senior party leaders, from time to time, have been asked to interact with these groups for feedback on the functioning of both the state government of Yogi Adityanath and the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Other efforts to woo more supporters for the BJP include "jan kalyan sammelans" (public welfare conventions), wherein beneficiaries of various government schemes will be called between July 5 and 10; tree plantation at every booth between July 1 and 15; symposiums on the party ideology between July 26 and 31; and debates on "hot topics" like triple talaaq will be held by its minority frontal organisation. Amit Shah himself has allocated 95 days over the next one year to visit such places where the party is weak.
Meetings of the district executive committee are being held for three days from Friday to take stock of the directives from the high command and an action plan made to roll out the new projects, a senior leader said.
The saffron camp's quest for more power seems unquenchable for now.