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UP: Ahead of 2024 LS Polls, SP Begins Training Workshop to Counter BJP ‘Propaganda’

The workshops will focus on social justice and caste census, as well as booth management.
Samajwadi Party

Image courtesy: @samajwadiparty/Twitter

Lucknow: Gearing up for 2024 general elections, the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Wednesday organised a Karyakarta Prashikshan Shivir — a training workshop for party workers in Uttar Pradesh's Banda district in a bid to counter ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's “claims and propaganda” and to highlight issues like law and order, inflation, unemployment at the grassroots level across the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies. 

The training workshop, which started on June 6 in Lakhimpur Kheri district along with 'Lok Jagaran Yatra' launched by party president Akhilesh Yadav, focusing on social justice and caste census, was put on hold with Yadav getting busy with meetings of Opposition leaders from the INDIA bloc.

Read Also: UP: Akhilesh Yadav Launches 'Lok Janjagran Yatra' to Focus on Social Justice, Caste Census

However, the training event resumed in Banda district on Wednesday where along with Akhilesh Yadav, state unit president Naresh Uttam Patel, party general secretary Shivpal Yadav, and other senior leaders Lalji Verma, Ram Achal Rabhar, and Arvind Singh Gop were present.  

The next destination for the workshop is Fatehpur (August 17-18) and Firozabad (August 21-22) districts where prominent leaders of the party will be present.  

"To counter the BJP's claim and false propaganda, we need a little grooming of our workers at the grassroot level. The party advised workers to counter it tooth and nail and highlight developmental works being done by the government. At the meeting, party workers were alerted against false propaganda unleashed by BJP and Congress against SP,” Udaiveer Singh, a senior SP leader, who is part of workshop training, told NewsClick.  

The workshop will also focus on the execution of Akhilesh Yadav’s PDA strategy — outreaching the pichada (backward), dalit (oppressed), and alpsankhyak (minority) communities 

The party leaders believe this approach will provide a robust counter to BJP’s politics in the upcoming 2024 general elections in Uttar Pradesh since the ruling alliance is also focusing on OBC (Other Backward Classes) voters. 

In these workshops, Akhilesh Yadav also emphasised on strengthening the SP's organisation at booth level. 

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the SP won only five seats. Again in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it failed to make headway despite an alliance with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party, securing only five seats. In the 2022 Assembly polls, the SP failed to unseat BJP from power in Uttar Pradesh and could win only 111 of the 403 seats despite Mahagatbandhan. 

Samajwadi Party leader Rajeev Rai, who is part of the SP’s team that is organising the programme in Banda, told NewsClick, "The reason behind the workshop is to train party workers and leaders on utilising social media effectively."

The leader said the party workers have been asked to "refrain from religious issues" that may polarise the electorate.

The SP has also prepared a list of more booths where its organisation is weak and a committee of leaders have submitted a report suggesting ways to strengthen organisation on these polling booths. 

Sudhir Panwar, a Lucknow University zoology professor and state Planning Commission member during Samajwadi Party tenure, told NewsClick that the objective of the training was to educate and energise the cadres.  

The top leaders of the party have realised that both BJP and BSP have dedicated cadre to manage polling booths and for door-to-door campaigns, he said. 

"The pattern of election management and campaigning has gone through tremendous changes. SP was always known as a mass-based party, and the need for a transformation to a cadre-based party was never felt. The Lok Sabha elections in 2024 will be the first test of this new strategy," Panwar said.  

In the 403 Assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, each has around 300 polling booths. SP members have named a cluster of 5-6 polling booths as ‘sector’ and a group of 10 sectors as ‘zones’. Each zone in an Assembly constituency will have 50-60 polling booths.

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