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Modi to begin campaigning from Pathankot

chandigarh Updated: Jun 19, 2013 01:39 IST
HT Correspondent

The Punjab unit of the BJP is gearing up for the maiden visit by BJP's campaign committee chairman Narendra Modi to Pathankot on June 23.

Modi is expected to begin the election campaign from here and further announce the election programme.

Senior party leaders, including Punjab in-charge Shanta Kumar and national general secretary JP Nadda are camping in Pathankot for the June 23 rally to make Modi's visit a success.

Modi's visit coincides with the 60th death anniversary of Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee who died while in jail in Srinagar on June 23, 1953. The BJP has planned a rally on this day to connect their party's history to the present struggle for power. "It is going to be a historic show," Nadda told HT in Chandigarh on his way to Pathankot.

Nadda said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who is patron of SAD, would also be present with Modi. The Gujarat chief minister would address a rally at Lakhanpur, adjacent to Madhopur town of Pathankot on the Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir border. BJP activists from three states are expected to take part in the rally.

Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma, who is credited with arranging Modi's visit, and his predecessor Ashwani Sharma are already in Pathankot.

"The situation is similar to what it was 60 years ago but the BJP is much stronger now," Nadda said, adding that his party had chalked out a plan to emerge stronger with new leadership and would like to contest the general election with the current coalition arrangement with different political parties and would not like to go in for fresh political alliances before the polls.

"Fresh political alliances would be thought about only after the poll results. We are ready to face elections even if these elections are advanced to November this year instead of the scheduled May next year," said Modi.

Convener issue open

Nadda told HT that the issue of convener of the BJP-led NDA was still open and the allies of the alliance which are expected to meet shortly would take decision. After BJP-JD (U) breakup the position which was held by Sharad Yadav fell vacant. Pertinently Badal being the seniormost among all the constituent parties of NDA is expected to get the offer for the top post. In the past also, Badal had the offer but he refused to accept.

Modi not to polarise

reacting to the allegations of congress party JP Nadda said Narendra Modi's visit can't be seen with communal colour and it would not polarize electorate. "Instead he (Modi) symbolizes change, development and a strong nation," added Nadda.