Political parties in the State are making sure their ground-level staffers are primed for the forthcoming general elections. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is micro-planning by appointing ‘panna-pramukhs’ across the State, the Shiv Sena’s new handbook for ‘gatpramukhs’, the lowest level in the organisational hierarchy, is doing the rounds. It spells out tasks designated to around 25,000 gatpramukhs across Maharashtra. Panna pramukhs, on the other hand, are workers who will come in contact with voters who are on the electoral list.The Shiv Sena has published a special handbook which details the work expected from a gatpramukh. This includes keeping tabs on the voter’s list; keeping a record of the voters who have migrated or are dead; keeping a record of voters who have traditionally voted for the Sena and those who tilt towards other parties; communicating the party programme, initiatives and schemes to voters in the area; maintaining a cordial relationship with voters, ensuring their problems are solved; taking a lead in finding a solution to possible quarrels, and maintaining a clean image. These individuals are also tasked with continuously informing ward presidents and deputies about issues in the area assigned to them. “One might find the concept of the panna-pramukh very interesting, but the Shiv Sena has been implementing it successfully for over two decades. The gatpramukh is the reason the Sena is directly connected to voters across wards in Mumbai,” said a senior Sena leader. As per the party’s organisational structure, a gatpramukh is the lowest-ranking official but one of its most important; he or she maintains contact with voters in 15 to 20 houses on a daily basis. Sensing that all parties, especially the BJP, are focusing on micro-planning, the Sena too is investing more in its gatpramukh.According to the Sena leader, the party has appointed over 25,000 gatpramukhs across the State. “Each one of them is tasked with 15 to 20 families. They will be involved in everything from maintaining cordial relationships with them to bringing them out to vote. This isn’t new for us. The system has been in place in a majority of 48 Lok Sabha constituencies.”
Former Punjab BJP president and senior party leader Kamal Sharma passed away on the morning of October 27 after suffering a heart attack in Ferozepur district.Mr. Sharma, 48, went for a morning walk when he suffered a heart attack, a close aide of Mr. Sharma saidHe was taken to a local hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead, he said.Mr. Sharma is survived by his wife and two children.Two hours back, Mr. Sharma had greeted people on Deepavali through his Twitter handle.