To match up to the increased awareness among the people, BJP party leaders and workers are now brushing up their knowledge and reading more. Be it books, journals, magazines, important court orders or Parliament proceedings, the demand is now shifting to literature rather than paraphernalia such as badges and posters.

A visit to the book and material supply store at the BJP headquarters here reveals the changing face of the country’s polity. A senior party worker, Sudhanshu Sinha, who has been associated with the administration work at the office since the late 1990s, said the change is also visible in the kind of purchases being made.

“So close to the elections earlier, you would have found this place full of flags, posters, banners, and badges. But look at it now — there are more reading materials,’’ he said.

On how and why the change has come about, Mr. Sinha insists that for the party, campaigning has now assumed new overtones. “It is no longer about how much material alone you have. We believe that while you can reach out to some through such material as badges, most people are busy with their daily routine and our idea is to instil some ‘nationalist fervour’ in them.”

Mr. Sinha said the party presents things before the people which leave a deep impression on their mind. “For that it is equally important that the workers and leaders alike read more. Our party has been full of intellectuals, whose oratory skills have captured the imagination of the masses. A well-read leader or worker can articulate a point of view much better. This assumes all the more significance when you are appearing in a television debate.”

Setting the books on the shelves in order, Sanjeev, who has been associated with the BJP headquarters for several decades and now looks after the store, rattles out the names of the bestsellers: “Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi may be our icon now, but even today books on Mr. Vajpayee and Mr. Advani sell as much ,” he pointed out.

So be it the Nazarband Loktantra by L.K. Advani, or his Drishtikon – Blog Par Baatein, one finds them sharing shelf space with Mr. Vajpayee’s Nishkam Karamyogi and Sangharsh Say Shikhar Tak on Mr. Modi. Also placed is Kashmir and Hyderabad, a book on Sardar Patel, who has emerged as the new symbol of nationalism for the BJP.

Sanjeev said while some publications like Mr. Vajpayee’s poems continue to be evergreen bestsellers, there is now an increasing emphasis on distribution of life histories and important Supreme Court judgments among the party leaders who want their workers to be more aware.

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