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Rajnath to prepare ground for parliamentary polls

chandigarh Updated: Sep 23, 2013 01:12 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times
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In the run-up to the forthcoming parliamentary elections, BJP national president Rajnath Singh, who arrived here on Sunday on a two-day visit, will interact with the core group leaders of four states - Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh -- and union territory of Chandigarh on Monday.

The BJP, which is keeping the stakes high for the elections scheduled early next year, has decided to work out a strategy to aggressively contest the elections in the hope to emerge as the single largest party.

The party has already projected firebrand leader and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate and Rajnath will take this opportunity to smoothen the path for Modi's visit to these states. The BJP is planning a series of rallies to be addressed by Modi in the border states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

During his visit, apart from addressing workers of the Chandigarh unit of the party on Sunday, he will address leaders and workers from the four states on Monday.

Rajnath would interact with the leaders to work out a strategy for all 34 parliamentary seats in the four states and the union territory. A discussion on the possible candidates is also expected, and the party is expected to begin the process to prepare a panel for candidates in the parliamentary constituencies to be finalised at the central elections committee at a later stage.

The BJP core group comprises former presidents of the state unit, sitting president, sitting general secretaries, leader and deputy leader of legislature group of the party, and office-bearers of the party at the national level who belong to the state.

With the presence of the BJP's only coalition partner, SAD, in Punjab, the BJP plans to work out a strategy to use the coalition partner to project a secular image.

"The SAD is one of the oldest allies of the BJP which has stood with us like a rock and the long association with the SAD proves that ours is a secular party. We plan to take this point to the public across the nation in such a way that the BJP benefits," said Punjab affairs in-charge Shanta Kumar. Punjab has 13 parliamentary seats.

In trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP has intensified its working so as to send a strong signal at the national level. Rajnath is expected to present a special programme for Jammu and Kashmir, especially when the BJP is crying hoarse that the UPA government has weakened international borders, especially with Pakistan and China.

The party is also expected to take Narendra Modi to Anantnag for an election rally. "Modi's presence in Jammu and Kashmir would send a strong message all over the country and we are sure of winning four out of the six seats in the state," said BJP's state in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna.

There are 10 parliamentary constituencies in Haryana, four in Himachal Pradesh and one in Chandigarh.