Allahabad, Sept 6: With star poll strategist Prashant Kishore on his side, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi would not struggle to create headlines related to his electoral campaign for Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017. Although the much promoted ‘khaat sabha’ in Deoria turned into a disaster on Tuesday, the party is all set to organize a ‘khaat chaupal’ in Allahabad on September 14. Congress aims the maximum participation of farmers in the next ‘khaat event’. Efforts to turn the campaign into a success has already been initiated by Team PK (the coterie of Prashant Kishore). (ALSO READ: Congress red-faced as ‘Khats’ vanish after Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Sabha’)
To turn the ‘khaat chaupal’ into a success, each Congress worker in Allahabad district has been instructed to reach out to at least 10 families of farmers per day. In the next 8 days, the party workers and volunteers, along with members of Team PK aim to reach at least 100 houses of farmers per day, and persuade them to attend the ‘khaat chaupal’ on September 14. According to Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Kishore Varshney, Congress volunteers have strenuously launched the door-to-door campaign with the intent of associating farmers with padayatra. The party aims to bring the agrarian community on board, and create the confidence that Congress could address their issues if voted to power. As seen in the early part of the kisan padayatra, Rahul Gandhi, as well as other Congress stressed the need for lowering electricity bills, waiving off loans of distressed farmers and ensuring a better price for their crops.
In what appears to be an idea with the blueprint of Prashant Kishore himself, the Congress workers, accompanied by members of Team PK have been giving farmers a form to fill, which they have termed as ‘kisaan patra’. Apart from taking their personal details in the form, a field is specified for them to enter the amount of outstanding loans on them. The farmers are being taken into confidence and asked to dial a missed call on the number ‘8090180901’. After the farmers fill the kisan patra, the Congress volunteers put stickers on back of their mobile handset and also at their doors. The campaign would not only ensure party’s penetration among the rural electorate, but also given an idea about the kind of buzz the campaign has created by recording the number of missed calls.
The similar missed call campaigns conducted by Prashant Kishore for Nitish Kumar during the campaigning of Bihar Assembly Elections 2015, and for Narendra Modi during his prime ministerial run ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, turned out to be a success.