With three private helicopters at her disposal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati will hit the campaign trail on Sunday to rally voters across the country for her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that plans to contest at least 400 Lok Sabha seats in the coming election.
Seen by her BSP as the only crowd puller, who does not need the additional props of film stars or celebrities, Mayawati will set herself a punishing pace as she spins across the country for the five-phase elections that begin April 16 and go on till May 13.
While the campaign will be launched from Deoria, the far eastern corner of Uttar Pradesh bordering Bihar on March 22, she will make intermittent trips to 23 other states where the BSP proposes to field its candidates, said a BSP leader.
Other than Uttar Pradesh, she will essentially focus on Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh where her party had succeeded in making a dent in the assembly elections.
"We are not impressed by film personalities or other celebrities whom other parties hire to collect crowds," observed a senior party functionary. "Our greatest celebrity is Behenji who is the biggest crowd puller and does not require filmi faces to collect crowds."
"As many as 24 rallies have been planned for Uttar Pradesh where she proposes to cover at least three constituencies with each rally," the official told IANS requesting anonymity.
To aid the hectic travel, three private helicopters have been hired for use by Mayawati and her trusted aides Satish Chandra Misra and Naseemuddin Siddiqui.
While Mayawati spreads her wings across the country, Misra and Siddiqui would concentrate on Uttar Pradesh to target Brahmins and Muslims in the party's bid to increase it tally of 17 seats in the 14th Lok Sabha.
Misra is also stated to have been detailed for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi, where he has organised Brahmin-Dalit Bhaichara Sammellans (Brahmin-Dalit friendship meets).
Mayawati is understood to be personally controlling the entire nationwide campaign from her Kalidass Marg residence here. A central campaign office has also been set up at her new home in New Delhi's Gurudwara Rakabganj Marg, where she hosted a dinner for Third Front leaders Sunday.
She is right now said to be busy finalising the list of candidates for as many as 400 Lok Sabha constituencies, including Uttar Pradesh's 80 seats.
"The list would announced in the next two-three days," said a party official.