Dr Mahesh Sharma has recently been appointed as the new BJP president of Rajasthan. Lokpal Sethi interviewed Dr Sharma to know his plans and programmes for the growth of BJP in Rajasthan. Excerpts:
How do you see party'sgrowth in the state after you took charge as BJP chief of Rajasthan?
Before being given the responsibility as state party president, I had worked in several capacities in the organisation. But heading the organisation was altogether a different experience. Over the years party has grown by many folds and it is no more a small family of yesteryears. During the past years, many, who were not much acquainted with the old party, its working culture and its values, joined it. To make them aware of the basics of this cadre-based party, we held a training camp at Pushkar, which was a new a experience for those, who had joined the party in recent years. Though I was satisfied with this camp, where everyone was living a community life, I felt there is a need to do much more to maintain the disciplined character of the party.
Which was the other major programme to involve the grassroot-level workers?
In September last, we decided to organise Deendayal Upadhyay Janmadiwas Samaroh. I was particular that the programme should be held up to village level. Accordingly we listed 15,000 villages, where these functions were to be held. This was one of the major programmes, in which grassroot-level workers were actively involved. To our ratification functions were held at over 10,000 places. Currently functions are being held to organise meetings and seminars on cultural nationalism in the centenary year of Shri Guruji. Now we have also decided to organise death anniversary of Shri Upadhyay as Samarpan Diwas on a large scale. These programmes are aimed at activating the party cadre at every level of the organisation.
The BJP government in Rajasthan has completed three years. There are complaints that there is not much coordination between the party leaders in the government and its organisational leaders?
This is not fully correct. I do agree that there are some short-comings, but to say that there is no coordination between the government and the party would be wrong. There is a core committee of organisational leaders and leaders in the government. This committee meets regularly and most of the major policy decisions are taken by it. At the same time there is an advisory committee, comprising of all the former state presidents. This committee gives valuable suggestions to the party leaders, who are responsible to run the government affairs.
There is a demand to constitute the coordination committee, provided in the party constitution.
This would also be done at the earliest, if required. There is hardly any dispute or opposition to form the coordination committee.
The grassroot-level party workers have a feeling that they hardly have any participation in the government and unless they are involved in running the government, the party would lose its support among the masses.
Recently, party leaders in the government, after consultations with organisational leaders had constituted the committees at district level in which over 6000 party workers were nominated. This would give them the opportunity to involve themselves in the running of the government. We also have plans to train the party workers.
Now elections to the assembly are less than two year away. What are your plans?
We are soon convening a larger meeting of party leaders and functionaries, in which two years road map for the party organisation would be prepared. The leaders, functionaries and grassroot-level workers would be given specific responsibilities and targets. The polling booth level committees of the party will be in place in the next few months.