Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Jan 14, 2019 04:01 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

BJP, Congress start manifesto preparation, will focus on crowdsourcing ideas

The BJP on January 14 announced that it plans to hold events across the country to gather inputs from voters of various age groups from across the country, according to reports

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have begun preparing for their respective Lok Sabha election manifestos, with focus on crowdsourcing through apps, social media and websites.

The BJP on January 14 announced that it plans to hold events across the country to gather inputs from voters of various age groups, according to reports.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh will be heading the Manifesto Committee, which includes 20 members in total, including several Union ministers. The Committee, according to Singh, has decided to form 15 sub-panels in order to reach out to various sections of the society across India.

"The activity on the ground will be supplemented with an online campaign to crowdsource suggestions on the making of the sankalp patra," a manifesto committee member told Hindustan Times.

In keeping with the plan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also launched a survey on the Narendra Modi app where he has asked for "direct" feedback from people.

"I want your direct feedback on various issues... take part in the survey on Narendra Modi mobile app", the Prime Minister appealed in a video shared on Twitter and Facebook.

The survey asks respondents to rate various promises made by the government before coming to power in 2014. It also asks the "three most popular BJP leaders in your constituency" and whether the respondent sees an "impact of the proposed mahagatbandhan in your constituency".

According to NDTV, those parliamentarians who are rated poorly may also be dropped from consideration for the upcoming elections.

Similarly, the Congress is also upping its manifesto game by dividing sets of voters and activating its wings relating to the particular voter base. For instance, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the Congress' students' wing, has been told to promote its 'Behtar Bharat' campaign, which promises "respect for your hard work and struggle" and "access to top leadership in every field".

"Through Behtar Bharat, we are also surveying what the youth wants and encouraging suggestions. These would be screened by local committee leaders and then forwarded further until they reach the high command, which would take a decision on whether to include them in the manifesto or not," an NSUI leader told Moneycontrol.

Among other things, the Behtar Bharat campaign itself aims to provide students with English classes, employment and "overhaul of the education system".

"The idea is to see how students have responded to these promises, and whether they can be used in the manifesto," the leader said.

The Congress' manifesto committee includes a number of senior leaders and former Union ministers in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) cabinet, including P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and Salman Khurshid. The team also includes policy experts and leaders from key states.

Apart from the inputs being gathered from different wings of the party, Congress has also launched a website to crowdsource suggestions. The website, made available in over 16 languages, asks for an idea from the respondents and also has the facility to pitch in more than one idea.

A dedicated WhatsApp number and an email id has also been provided for people to voice their suggestions.
First Published on Jan 14, 2019 04:01 pm
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