PM to address 50 rallies in poll run-up

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally addressing farmers in Muktsar in Punjab on Wednesday is just a precursor to a blitzkrieg of around 50 rallies that will be a build-up to the BJP’s 2019 campaign.

These rallies will be separate from the poll-related rallies to be addressed by Mr. Modi in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh later this year. “The Prime Minister will be addressing rallies in Jungle Mahal in West Bengal, and in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh this month, along with the proposed rallies in Odisha and at least two such events in Karnataka, possibly in Chikkodi and Haveri,” said a senior source in the BJP. Each rally will try and cover 2-3 Lok Sabha constituencies, with the aim that by February, the Prime Minister alone would have covered 150 constituencies. Other senior leaders such as Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah will also be addressing around 40-50 rallies with the aim that between all of them, all Lok Sabha constituencies would have been covered.

‘Boost for cadre’

“Apart from speaking about the Modi government’s work and its policies and programmes, the visit by Prime Minister Modi and other senior leaders will spruce up organisational preparedness,” said a senior office-bearer in the BJP. “When a big visit like this is to be organised, all levels of the party get energised and the cadre is fighting fit for campaigning and polling day,” added the source.

PM from Odisha?

Sources were tight-lipped on whether the Prime Minister was considering contesting from Puri in Odisha. “That is not something that we are aware of,” said the source. The party has maintained that it fancies its chances of making a dent in that State and felling Naveen Patnaik’s till-now strong citadel.

Mr. Modi remains the BJP’s most potent campaign weapon, and the party plans to deploy him to the utmost.

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