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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Final push for last two phases: BJP's campaign to gain pace after Modi shifts base to Varanasi

Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 02, 2014
First Published: 18:36 IST(2/5/2014) | Last Updated: 21:47 IST(2/5/2014)

The BJP is ready for the final push to its campaign centred on Narendra Modi, the party's prime ministerial candidate, for the last two rounds of Lok Sabha elections on May 7 and 12.

Starting Friday, Modi will address 3D hologram rallies every day, with the focus on rural pockets of Poorvanchal and Awadh region.

"While the 3D rallies are a big hit in urban areas, the response from rural areas is immense too. We plan to hold one event every day, which would cover 100 places," said BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who heads the party's Central Programme Implementation and Coordination Committee.

Last elections, the BJP had won none of the 15 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh (UP) going to polls on May 7, while it had bagged just three of the 18 seats where polling will be held on May 12. These seats consist mostly of rural pockets.

Nearly a dozen groups of around 15 theatre artistes each have also been sent to canvass for Modi in the rural pockets of eastern and central UP. Each team will hold around five shows every day.

"To add a regional flavor, we have involved local artistes fluent in Awadhi and Bhojpuri to connect with voters. It is like thinking global and doing local," said BJP national secretary Vani Tripathi, who is overseeing the exercise.

These plays, also highlighting failures of the UPA, are also being performed in Bihar and West Bengal.

While several party workers from outside the state are already camping in Varanasi, sources say the campaign will gain momentum after Modi shifts his base to Varanasi.

Party leaders say Modi, who will be busy campaigning till April 5 for the eighth round of polls, will spend three to four days in Varanasi from April 6.

"He (Modi) will also campaign in other states, but is likely to spend the nights in Varanasi. During the entire campaign so far, he returned to Ahmedabad or spent the nights in Delhi. This will be the first time he will camp in a place outside Ahmedabad and Delhi. This is bound to boost the party's campaign," said a senior BJP leader.

The people behind the BJP's campaign strategy say they are focussing on "consolidation" of efforts and resources.

"The focus is on consolidation in the remaining phases. Booth management exercise for the last two phases will be more extensive. People from outside the areas going to polls will also join," said BJP's IT cell convener Arvind Gupta, a key member of the BJP's social media campaign team.


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