That the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi is certainly not leaving anything to chance in Varanasi is clear by the way he is rallying his forces in the temple town.
Modi’s team of professionals and party workers — mostly from Gujarat — has taken control of electioneering in Poorvanchal that goes to poll on May 12. More will join after elections in Gujarat get over on April 30, party leaders say.
“More than 1,000 people from Gujarat have moved in. They have been meeting voters, particularly in rural areas, to get a sense of the mood. The feedback is then shared with the people in Ahmedabad so that they can customise the campaign strategy,” a BJP leader told HT.
Also, online applications are being invited from people across the country to act as volunteers in Varanasi. “Modi’s road-show, which was also attended by volunteers from outside Varanasi, proved the success of this initiative,” another BJP leader said.
Prompted by Modi’s men, the local BJP unit has also roped in about 150 Gujarati women, married into Varanasi-based families, to campaign for the Gujarat CM among 10,000 Gujarati families settled in Varanasi.
Modi also tried to strike a chord with the locals with his vow to turn the temple town into the spiritual capital of the world and rid the Ganga of pollution, besides helping the struggling weavers.
The BJP’s decision to field Modi from Varanasi was also driven by the calculation that his presence in eastern UP will also affect the neighbouring seats of Bihar.
The BJP’s revival plans in UP seriously depends on its performance in western and eastern parts. While its general secretary in charge of UP, Amit Shah, claims the party had done exceptionally well in the 21 seats of western UP, other leaders admit in private that eastern UP still remains a challenge so far.