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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

Demand for NaMo rallies, a moment of déjà vu for BJP

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 26, 2013
First Published: 23:49 IST(26/9/2013) | Last Updated: 23:52 IST(26/9/2013)

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee remained one of the most sought after campaigners for the BJP candidates during the Lok Sabha elections held in previous years. Now, that spot may well go to Narendra Modi, who was declared the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate on September 13.

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After his rallies in Hyderabad, Rewari and Tiruchi, the BJP managers have been beseeched with demands from their state units to organise rallies in their areas. BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is on the party’s campaign management committee, told HT that “it is like previous years, when our state leaders used to press for at least for one meeting by Vajpayee. Today, they want Modi.”

Naqvi said the BJP’s plan was to ensure that Modi covers a large part of the country in the run up to the next elections “Everyone wants to just hear Modi and they say his meetings will galvanise their cadres to work vigorously for the polls,” he added.

In all, the BJP had in mind to hold at least more than three dozen mega rallies which are to be addressed by Modi. Three rallies have been planned at Kanpur, Jhansi and Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh in October.

“At the same time, we will ensure that we sustain the campaign throughout so that our opponents cannot hope for our peaking early,” said Naqvi. Once the assembly elections are announced in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan, Modi’s attention would boost the party’s campaign thrust in these states, which are already being spearheaded by respective state leaders including BJP  chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan (MP) and Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) and Rajasthan CM candidate Vasundhara Raje.


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