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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

BJP has big plans for Maharashtra polls

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 05, 2014
First Published: 00:12 IST(5/7/2014) | Last Updated: 00:15 IST(5/7/2014)

The BJP is working on a massive outreach programme in Maharashtra to take poster boy Narendra Modi to the state’s electorate ahead of the assembly polls.

Winning Maharashtra is crucial for the party and Modi. For one, a victory would be a huge boost to his image as a popular leader as it would be the first state going to polls after he took over as prime minister. Conversely, a defeat could give a lease of life to the Congress.

The party is planning to get its Union ministers to visit all 288 assembly constituencies in the state for a month, starting mid-July. Each minister will handle five assembly constituencies.

This is important as it could help mobilise workers even before the actual campaign begins. “Such an outreach will help us establish ourselves and pitch Modi as a brand even in constituencies that our partners will be contesting,” said a senior BJP leader. Another reason, he added, was that this will ensure that Modi is on top of voters’ minds as they go to cast their vote.

The party will get chief ministers of all BJP-ruled states to root for the party’s image of being development-oriented. Most chief ministers can also help in influencing voters from their states who stay in Maharashtra.

Additionally, the party has planned a state-wide tour of senior leaders like state chief Devendra Fadnavis, leaders of opposition Eknath Khade and Vinod Tawde, as well as core committee members Sudhir Mungantiwar and Pankaja Munde.

The party plans to appoint 150 full-time leaders to ‘handle’ two constituencies each. These leaders will reside in these constituencies for the next two months and submitting ground-level reports on various factors.

“In seats where we don’t fight, our alliance partner will benefit from our preparations, but we need to activate our booths in each seat nonetheless,” said Fadnavis.


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