Delhi BJP’s campaign plan: Congregation of 25,000 priests

Delhi BJP’s campaign plan: Congregation of 25,000 priests

New Delhi: A congregation of more than 25,000 Hindu religious leaders from across the country and recitals of Hanuman Chalisa at 14,700 temples — Delhi BJP has planned two mega events in the coming week as part of its campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, ThePrint has learnt.

Voting for all of Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha seats will be held in a single phase on 25 May.

As part of the campaign, more than 20,000 priests from various temples in Delhi and over 5,100 Hindu religious leaders, including mathadheesh (heads of various Hindu sects) and Shankaracharyas, are expected to participate in this event to celebrate the start of the Hindu New Year at Indira Gandhi stadium Sunday (21 April).

With the BJP delivering on its key promise of construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, the party’s Delhi unit is going all out to keep the issue front and centre of its campaign in the national capital. Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal will attend the event along with other senior leaders, said Delhi BJP president Virendraa Sachdeva.

“It is a mega event where over 25,000 Hindu religious leaders recite the Hanuman Chalisa and participate in kirtans at the venue. We were planning to hold this event on Ram Navami, but all the religious gurus were busy then. The idea is to celebrate not only the Hindu New Year but also construction of the Ram temple, which was a key promise of our party,” said Sachdeva.

The BJP has made elaborate arrangements for the event which will see performances by singers such as Hansraj Raghuwanshi and Anuradha Paudwal, besides a live Ramleela performance. Last year, the BJP had organised a similar event to celebrate the Hindu New Year at Talkatora stadium, said Karnail Singh, in-charge of the Delhi BJP’s temple cell.

This event will be followed by recitals of Hanuman Chalisa on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti (23 April) at 14,780 temples across Delhi registered with the BJP, according to Singh. 

“On Hanuman Jayanti, we will be organising Hanuman Chalisa recitals at 14,000 plus locations. Our workers are making elaborate arrangements for the events, which will be held in almost every locality. We are planning to organise many more such religious events in the run up to the elections,” said BJP MLA Ajay Mahawar, who is Delhi BJP coordinator for election preparations.

Senior BJP leaders said the idea is to bring together all Hindu religious organisations in Delhi together and also raise issues concerning religious groups such as allowance for priests. “Delhi government gives salaries to Imams of mosques. We want all priests to also get salaries. We will talk about the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past 10 years and also raise issues concerning our religious leaders,” said Sachdeva.

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Work of “Sanatan Dharma

The BJP, which is hoping to win all seven Lok Sabha seats for the third time in a row, is focusing on these community events to reach out to all sections of society.

BJP leaders said the party wants to reach people and tell them about the achievements of the Modi government, especially construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

In 2022, the Delhi BJP had set up the temple cell to strengthen its network of religious leaders and organisations in the national capital, said Karnail Singh. “In the past two years, we have formed a strong network of priests and religious leaders in the city. Our team of 500 plus workers have contacted priests in every mandal (party’s block level). Today, we have a network of 1.47 lakh priests and religious leaders in Delhi,” he claimed.

This is the work of “Sanatan Dharma”, Singh said, adding: “We want to make India a Hindu Rashtra.”

Confident of its victory, BJP leaders said they are working on increasing the margin of victory in each parliamentary constituency. In 2019, BJP won two seats — West Delhi, North West Delhi — by margins greater than 5 lakh votes and the remaining by margins of at least 2.2 lakh votes.

BJP leaders said the construction of the Ram temple, which was one of the key promises of the Narendra Modi government, will be a major factor in these elections and help the party increase its vote share.

“Construction of the Ram temple will be a major factor in these elections; this will help the party win all seven seats with an increased margin. This time, we are aiming at increasing our margin of victory to six lakh on the two seats which we won with five lakh votes. We hope to win the remaining constituencies by five lakh plus margin,” said Mahawar.

The BJP’s Delhi unit has also planned a meeting of social media influencers from Delhi on 27 April. Mahawar said, “Things have changed a lot over the years and we should keep up with the times. Social media is an important way to reach out to masses. Close to 700 social media influencers are likely to attend the meet. We are still working out the details of the event.”

The BJP is also planning to hold nukkad nataks, magic shows, flash mobs, cultural events and other such programmes as part of its campaign in Delhi.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

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