Bharatiya Janata Party cadres in Uttar Pradesh are now a weary lot.
They have been working back-to-back for elections since the past one decade and the rewards are apparently not coming their way.
“We began working in 2013 for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and then plunged into preparations for the 2017 assembly elections. Without waiting for any break, we started preparing for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The lockdown gave us a small break but the party started virtual interactions and we were kept busy. Then came the legislative council polls and then the panchayat polls and the 2022 assembly elections. Now we are busy with the Lok Sabha by-polls and the upcoming legislative council and Rajya Sabha polls next month,” said a party worker.
What is making the party workers restive is that they have not been given suitable rewards by the party leaders.
“When elections come, it is the turncoats and outsiders who walk away with tickets and the committed worker is left twiddling his thumbs and waiting to begin work again,” said another party worker from Jaunpur who has been denied a ticket twice.
BJP workers also complain that the new entrants into the party – when they become ministers – do not pay any attention to the cadres.
“Many of them do not even recognise us, leave alone interact with us. We are not even given the privilege of getting any work done in our own government while these turncoats and allies walk away with all the goodies,” said another party worker from Agra.
The party workers want that they should also have a say in the government because it is their toil that has brought the party to power.
“We go from house to house, connect with voters and even face the ire of voters at times but we are never in a position to help the people in any way,” said the party worker.
A senior party functionary in Lucknow admitted that a number of workers had also spoken about wanting a break and doing work in untapped fields.
“We are also aware that there is still a lack of connect between the party cadres and those in government but we are trying to create a system where there will be a channel of communication between the two. Ministers are also being asked to interact with party workers and listen to them,” he said.
The party functionary, however, defended the continuous work cycle that the cadres are being put through.
“This is the secret of the party’s growing success in the past one decade. We cannot afford to have a laidback attitude on this because as a political party we need to forge ahead of our rivals in elections. The party leadership wants the machinery to remain well-oiled and there is no room for any complacency,” he said.