Cash crunch hits BJP’s UP palaks real hard
The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes by the Centre is affecting not only the retail market of the country but also the saffron party’s poll strategy in Uttar Pradesh.
As reports suggest, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadres are in a tight spot over organising rallies and public meetings as many service providers are refusing to accept cash in old notes and asking for new notes. Some of them are also refusing to accept cheques.
BJP has appointed ‘Palaks’ or caretakers in each of the 80 Loksabha constituencies across the state. These Palaks are highly integrated RSS members and their job of is to co-ordinate between the top leadership and the local leaders. Learning from its debacles in Bihar and Delhi Assembly elections, RSS top functionaries also feel that there is a need for co-ordination between RSS and BJP.
Initially, these Palaks were provided Rs 1 crore each and on November 4, Rs 25 lakh was transferred to their individual bank accounts to organise Parivartan rallies, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
Mobilising buses and vehicles to bring the supporters from different parts of the state is a major expenditure component and most transporters accept money only in cash. Another major expenditure is on decoration and the decorators too accept money either in cash or through cheques.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address public meetings in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh almost every week. The state wing of the party has already finalised the dates and is now waiting for a nod from the PMO. Modi will next address a public rally at Agra on November 20.
Meanwhile, UP BJP has rescheduled all the four Parivartan Yatras. The Parivartan Yatra flagged off by party president Amit Shah from Jhansi was scheduled to reach Agra on November 22 but the date has now been changed to November 20 after a word from the PM’s office.
On November 27, the PM would address a rally in Kushinagar instead of November 25 as planned earlier. A senior BJP leader said the itinerary was rescheduled couple of days back.
Modi will address a rally at Moradabad in western UP on December 3 and a rally at Bahraich in Awadh region on December 11. Last of the six rallies of the Parivartan Yatra would be at Kanpur on December 18.