Over the past ten days, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has conducted an unusual survey of voters across Madhya Pradesh to ensure targeted campaigning for its political outfit, the Bharatiya Janata Party, in the upcoming assembly elections, which are scheduled for 28 November. The survey puts voters in three categories—A, B and C—depending on their likelihood to vote for the BJP. The data, which is being collected at the booth level, is meant to facilitate targeted political messaging by the RSS, to ensure the maximum voter turnout and optimum results for the BJP.
“While voters who have traditionally been supporting the RSS have been put in the ‘A’ category, those who keep shifting and hence require more informal persuasions in order to make them vote for the BJP are made part of the ‘B’ category,” Mrinal Doraye, an RSS worker who is in-charge of the survey in Jaitpur village, under the state’s Dhar district, told me. “Voters who are Communist-minded or who cannot be persuaded to vote for the BJP are put in the ‘C’ category,” he said. “Since it is futile to spend our time and energy on such voters, the new database would help us concentrate on those belonging to the ‘B’ category.”
The survey marks a shift in the RSS’s election strategy and reflects a red alert in its campaign. It is a clear departure from its erstwhile practice of using its booth-level workers to persuade voters of all kinds, without planning to optimise their efforts.