Micro-management of voters has come to stay. After the ruling YSRCP, it is now the Opposition TDP’s turn to have “Sadhikara Saradhis” work at the ground level in Andhra Pradesh just a year shy of the 2024 Parliamentary and Assembly elections.
TDP will now have a Family Empowerment Executive system under which, for every 30 families, an executive called Sadhikara Saradhi will be out there, working in the midst of the people to win their hearts.
YSRCP, too, had recently launched such a system. The only difference: Each of the YSRCP’s Gruha Saradhis are in charge of 50 households, compared to the TDP’s 30.
After a severe blow in the 2019 polls, in which the regional party had faced its worst defeat, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu had been looking at every opportunity to keep the party on track.
Naidu, who was in Jaggampeta of Kakinada district on Thursday, 16 February, told party workers at a meeting about the new system.
Related: In poll mode, YSRCP cadre to push ‘Jagananna is our future’
How the system will work
“When in power, we could not do proper justice to the party workers. Now, we are bringing this new system to the party. There will be a separate wing called “Kutumba Sadhikara Saradhis”. We will give priority to women in appointing these Sadhikara Saradhis,” Naidu told party workers.
Each Assembly segment is to have 2,500 to 3,000 Sadhikara Saradhis — with 50 percent of them being women — and these party workers would have specific tasks aimed at helping the TDP win the next elections.
Sources in the TDP told South First that the job of an executive would not only be to periodically update the families under his charge on the decisions of the party, but also to explain to them the programmes to be taken up by the party when it comes to power.
The sources also said that these executive will visit every household assigned to them to personally know their problems and gather information about them in digital form.
This apart, they will highlight the “anti-people policies” being adopted by the ruling YSRCP government and help those who formulate party strategies at the grassroots level to prepare the manifesto.
The role of the Saradhis would not end even if the TDP returns to power. They would then be tasked with helping the government announce initiatives that would benefit the families under their charge.
“All the section in-charges will be called Family Empowerment Executives and they will also make necessary appointments wherever needed. There will be a Family Empowerment Wing in every Assembly segment and already one cluster in-charge has been appointed for every 25,000 voters,” a senior TDP leader told South First.
“Also, one unit in-charge has already been appointed for every 5,000 voters while one Family Empowerment Executive is now being appointed for every 30 families,” the leader added.
Related: Jagan’s Gruha Saradhis to reach every village in Andhra
Jagan’s own Saradhis
The TDP decision has a “me-too” feel about it as YSRCP supremo Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had announced his Gruha Saradhi concept in December last year. He had conceived of a network of 5.2 lakh Gruha Saradhis across the 15,000-odd villages in every nook and corner of Andhra Pradesh.
He had announced that there would be 45,000 conveners to coordinate the party’s work with them.
“For every 50 families in the state, one male and one female party cadre will be in charge. They are called Gruha Saradhis,” Jagan told a meeting of the party’s constituency observers, district presidents, and regional coordinators at his Camp Office in December.
“They will carry the party’s message to the people, besides providing publicity materials,” he added, while outlining the campaigns to be undertaken by the the newly-appointed Gruha Saradhis.
On 14 February, at an extended party meeting attended by MLAs, ministers, coordinators, regional coordinators, and district unit presidents at the YSRCP Camp Office in the Guntur district, Jagan said the newly-appointed Gruha Saradhis and secretariat-level party convenors should visit 1.65 crore households with gthe party’s latest campaign — Jagananna Ma Bhavishyathu ( Loose translation: Jagananna is our Future).
The campaign is to be run between 18 and 26 March, and it will involve the Saradhis spending time with families and explaining the slew of welfare programmes being implemented by the YSRCP government.
Jagan said they should explain to the people how the government was providing a transparent administration and taking the state forward with development, compared to the TDP rule.
Related: Time for the Rishi and Robbin show in Andhra Pradesh
Election consultancy I-PAC, which conducted several such grassroots-level activities and poll campaigns for the YSRCP in the run-up to the 2019 polls, has designed the Gruha Saradhi concept and is expected to ensure that the ground network interacts with the families in their respective clusters.
In fact, I-PAC Director Rishiraj Singh was also present in the meeting in December last year where Jagan had explained the Gruha Saradhis network to the party.
The TDP launching its own Saradhi system on similar lines as the one introduced by IPAC for YSRCP, throws light on the poll strategists working for both ruling and Opposition parties.
Incidentally in Andhra Pradesh, the 2024 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections are not just a battle between Chief Minister Jagan’s YSRCP and Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, but a clash of poll strategists Rishi Raj Singh and Robbin Sharrma.
Singh, who is currently heading I-PAC, is working with YSRCP.
Sharrma, with his ShowTime Consultancy, has been engaged by TDP, in full exclusivity, especially after TDP parted ways with MindShare Analytics, the firm of another prominent poll strategist, Sunil Kanugolu, earlier this year.
Both were colleagues at I-PAC and also protégés of ace poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
Both Rishi Raj Singh and Robbin Sharrma have set the stage for the two parties to go for each other’s jugular in Andhra Pradesh.