Delay in Modi-led BJP panel for poll campaign taking shape? | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delay in Modi-led BJP panel for poll campaign taking shape?

delhi Updated: Jul 03, 2013 08:27 IST
Shekhar Iyer

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, as head of BJP's campaign committee for the Lok Sabha polls, is timing his next move of outlining his strategy and expanding his team of managers rather carefully, BJP insiders.

Although a month is about to pass since he was named as head of the panel by party chief Rajnath Singh after a tumultous conclave in Goa, Modi has rather preferred a rather low-key approach.

He has far preferred to interact with BJP general secretaries and a panel that is supposed to oversee implementation of programmes.

Modi's new approach appears to be linked to the upheaval that was witnessed in the BJP in June, caused first by LK Advani's sudden decision to resign from all posts and then later withdraw it.

Later, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's decision to walk out of the NDA alliance, protesting against Modi's projected prominence, also added to the internal strife.

As his political rivals cited the ongoing CBI probe into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case to question his leadership, Modi chose to call on Advani and other senior leaders.

In his interactions with BJP functionaries so far, Modi has reportedly asked them to work out a strict regimen for the next 10 months to mobilise mood against the Congress and finalise strategy on various social issues.

He also asked for steps to mobilise booth-level workers to ensure their readiness ahead of the polls. He has spoken about the importance of social media, saying it could play a key role 165 parliamentary constituencies to woo young voters.

On July 4, Modi will hold another brainstorming session with BJP leaders. Subsequently, Modi is expected to brief the BJP Parliamentary Board, the highest decision making body of the party, on his plans. Modi may prefer to go with the team of general secretaries for his plans.

Modi's nationwide tour is expected to be announced after the July 4 meeting, according to BJP officials.

In any case, a vigorous campaign will take off only after the monsoon departed, say BJP leaders. The timing of festivals will also be factored before any announcement.

After a meeting with BJP general secretaries last month, Modi went to Mumbai to call on a recalcitrant Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and meet Mumbai Maharashtra BJP leaders.

He also addressed his first rally at Madhopur on Punjab-J&K border to mark 60th death anniversary of Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on June 23.

Modi's next rally is scheduled in Hyderabad on July 27. Bihar BJP has slated the "Hunkar rally" on October 7.

While the Hyderabad rally will focus on the Telengana issue, the BJP planned to showcase five lakh supporters from across Bihar for the Patna rally to send strong message to Nitish Kumar after the bitter separation last month.