Defence minister Manohar Parrikar will be among the leaders spearheading the BJP’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh, as the party gears up to showcase the “decisiveness” of the Modi government in hitting militant camps in PoK.
Several Parrikar events are being planned in the state, which goes to the polls early next year, in November when the BJP launches its Parivartan Yatra (march for change).
“Parivartan (change of government) is our central theme. But, poll campaign will have an overtone of the surgical strike to demonstrate the decisiveness of Modi government,” a BJP leader said.
The BJP is keen to repeat its Lok Sabha poll success in the state election, where it has failed to impress with regional parties dominating the scene for more than a decade.
Parrikar was felicitated by local units in Agra and Lucknow on October 6, a week after Indian soldiers crossed the line of control and hit militants.
The strike was India’s first military response to an attack on an army camp by suspected Pakistani militants that left 19 soldiers dead.
So far, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh and BJP chief Amit Shah have led the party’s charge in UP.
“Parrikar will be the fourth addition,” a BJP general secretary said.
To opposition charge that the government was cashing in on the strikes conducted by the army, BJP leaders say Parrikar is a Rajya Sabha member from UP and is natural for him to campaign.
The former Goa CM Parrikar is known to take a hard line on terrorism and his plainspeak goes down well with the audience.
Posters hailing Modi and Parrikar for LoC strikes have sprung up in the state. Modi was greeted with “Avengers of Uri” posters when he arrived in Lucknow on Tuesday for a Dussehra event.