Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are set to visit Jharkhand beginning later this month, possibly sounding the bugle for the state assembly elections that are likely to be brought forward to November.
While Modi will address the public at the Prabhat Tara Ground in Ranchi on August 21, Shah will focus on pepping up party workers and allotting election-related roles to the state party leadership.
Senior party leaders said Modi's involvement in the assembly elections was crucial to settle any leadership issue after the polls which are due only by January, 2015.
"Modi's involvement was a must as we have not projected any chief ministerial face for the state," said Raghubar Das, former deputy chief minister and a contender for the top job.
Shah''s visit has been postponed from August 24 to sometime in September, state BJP sources said, adding that he will address a meeting of at least 15,000 party workers from across the state at Morhabadi Ground in Ranchi during his visit.
Shah, who approved the recent induction of four Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) legislators in the saffron brigade, is also expected to induct a few more turncoats in the party during his visit, party insiders told HT.
Samresh Singh (Bokaro), Jayprakash Singh Bhokta (Simaria), Chandrika Mahta (Jamua) and Nirbhay Shahbadi (Giridih) recently left the JVM-P and joined the BJP.
In July, Shah also appointed union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan as the in-charge of election affairs for Jharkhand.
Modi, who last addressed a public meeting in Ranchi on December 29 last year, will hope to conjure up in the state elections the magic that he and Shah together created in the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
Although the party is seen as poised for a good showing in the elections, a public rally by Modi would help connect deeper with voters, state BJP leaders feel.
The party expects at least 50,000 people to attend Modi’s public meeting. The party is still to work out details of the event and the list of those likely to share the dais with the PM. Modi’s ‘Vijay Sankalp’ rally in Ranchi on December 29 saw at least 1.5 lakh people attending.