Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Over 20 big rallies to mark PM Modi campaign blitz in UP

Published on Mar 27, 2019 01:36 PM IST

The party is lining up more than 20 big ‘Modi rallies’ marking him as the “most in demand” campaigner in the party across the state that is heading for a three-cornered contest with the Congress and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance fighting separately, but with a common goal of defeating the BJP.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi(PTI)
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is giving final touches to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UP campaign, which begins with a rally in Meerut on Thursday.

The party is lining up more than 20 big ‘Modi rallies’ marking him as the “most in demand” campaigner in the party across the state that is heading for a three-cornered contest with the Congress and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance fighting separately, but with a common goal of defeating the BJP.

“There will be over 20 big rallies along with road shows. The number of these rallies is still being finalized, but we would try to maximise the impact of his rallies by holding them strategically,” said a senior UP BJP leader, adding that number of Modi programmes in UP could go up.

Modi has already held a rally each in Rae Bareli and Amethi but party leaders said a second round of Modi rallies in these Congress bastions wasn’t ruled out, said party leaders.

A Modi rally in Azamgarh is also expected as Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from this seat. “We will win 75 seats this time with Amethi and Azamgarh being the two plus seats,” said UP BJP’s west UP in-charge Vijay Bahadur Pathak.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Tuesday that he expected BJP to win just one seat from UP this time.

Modi rally in Rampur is also expected, BJP leaders said. SP has fielded Azam Khan, its Muslim face from this seat.

The party could plan a road show in Varanasi and in some other key constituencies. “A rally helps build the atmosphere, but in a road show people get to see their leader from a closer range. That’s why in eastern UP and some other regions he might possibly be holding road shows too,” a BJP leader said.

After Modi, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, union home minister Rajnath Singh and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya are going to be the leaders who would be “most in demand”. BJP chief Amit Shah and union minister Nitin Gadkari are also going to feature in a big way in BJP’s UP campaign, said party leaders.

To maximise Modi’s reach, the BJP had introduced ‘3D holographic campaign’ in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, enabling the party to ensure several Modi rallies at the same time. Whether the party would again go for a similar approach this time isn’t clear but BJP leaders admit that there is a huge demand for their most impactful leader.

After Meerut, Modi is expected again in western UP around April 5 with a rally in Amroha. A BJP leader said they had information that given the popularity of rallies by PM Modi, the opposition was planning to hold rallies around the same region where Modi shows are being planned.

The SP-BSP alliance has planned nearly 11 joint rallies featuring Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati.

In western UP, the leaders could also hold joint rallies with leaders of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). “We have information that BSP chief Mayawati is also planning to hold nearly 45 individual rallies, mostly in Dalit seats. Modi rallies would also factor this in,” a BJP leader said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Manish Chandra Pandey is a Lucknow-based assistant editor with Hindustan Times’ political bureau in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Along with political reporting, he loves to write off beat/human interest stories that people connect with. Manish also covers departments. He feels he has a lot to learn not just from veterans but from the newcomers who make him realise that there is so much to unlearn

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