Demonetisation: Laddoos are not just to say thanks; but more to do with Delhi civic polls

Not just pure sympathy, there is more to the BJP’s distribution of laddoos to mitigate the demonetisation woes. The party’s move is aimed at influencing voters for the forthcoming civic body polls in Delhi.

Several customers standing in a long queue outside an ATM in Delhi’s Sadar Bazar area on Tuesday morning were surprised when some local BJP workers presented them laddoos with a thank you note.

“I was standing in a queue outside an ATM, when local BJP workers came and gave each of us in the queue a laddoo. They said it’s a gesture of gratitude as we’ve patiently supported and made Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move a success. A few customers apparently commented ‘paise miley na miley laddu mil gaye’ (Whether we get money or not, we got laddus),” Yatindra Yadav, a resident of Pahari Dhiraj in Sadar Bazar area of Delhi told Firstpost.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Though, the date of distribution of laddus was scheduled from 1 January, some overenthusiastic BJP workers distributed this sweet to customers waiting at ATM queues on Tuesday itself.

The BJP has termed it as a result of joy and enthusiasm of a few party workers. “Though the initiative will begin on 1 January and go on till 10 January, some of our enthusiastic party workers, without noticing the scheduled date, distributed laddoos on Tuesday as they were very happy with the announcement,” BJP Delhi spokesperson Harish Khurana told Firstpost.

While, as per the Delhi BJP sources, the primary objective of this post-demonetisation initiative is to convey thanks to Delhiites for the patience they have shown while standing for hours in queues to withdraw money from bank branches and ATMs, there is more to it. Besides, a social motive, the initiative has a political objective as well, with an eye on the forthcoming Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) polls.

A week after announcing his decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes on 8 November, Modi had appealed to the nation to give him 50 days period, “Maine sirf pachaas din maange hain…30 December tak mujhe mauka dijiye (I have only asked for 50 days. Give me time till December 30).”

Following Modi’s appeal, the Delhi BJP has decided that after 30 December, the party workers will meet the residents of their respective localities and give a laddoo to each household.

“As a mark of successful implementation of demonetisation move — the prime minister’s drive against black money menace — the Delhi BJP workers will go door-to-door, meet families in their respective areas and give a laddu to each family. It’s a way of thanking the citizens for showing patience and their cooperation to make demonetisation drive a success. Every person have patiently waited outside banks and ATMs to withdraw money. We’re thankful to all of them, which we want to convey it by giving a laddu,” Khurana said.

According to Census 2011, the total households in Delhi comprising rural and urban are 3340 538. That means, the BJP has to deliver quintals of laddus to more than 33 lakh households, as there has been an increase in families in the last five years.

Apparently, the Delhi BJP has decided to undertake this humongous exercise without using party fund.
“We’ve 10 lakh party workers and even by a rough estimate, if one lakh workers share this responsibility and bear the cost, our mission will get accomplished. It won’t cost much to workers, as they have voluntarily decided to pay for the laddoos to be distributed in their respective localities. They will buy it from local confectioners or wherever they feel like,” a Delhi BJP leader said.

However, the other side of this laddoo drive is a public contact exercise ahead of the forthcoming MCD polls. Delhi has 272 municipal wards — trifurcated into north, south and east – north and south civic bodies, with 104 members each and the east municipal corporation has 64 members. The BJP is the dominant force in Delhi municipal bodies, which is expected to face a tough challenge from the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in the polls.

“Besides, thanks-giving, the objective of giving ‘one laddoo to one family’ is to revive connections at the ground level. It’ll help the party to prepare grounds for the forthcoming MCD polls. The local area worker knows the families in his or her area, and communication with them will be strengthened through this gesture,” a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 20:19 IST

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