Campaign fever starts in Maharashtra, Modi, Shah, Pawar will address rallies
In the next few days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata (BJP) chief Amit Shah and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will be addressing meetings.mumbai Updated: Jan 05, 2019 09:25 IST
With the Lok Sabha elections just a few months away, political parties are informally launching their election campaigns to win most of the 48 seats in Maharashtra. In the next few days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata (BJP) chief Amit Shah and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will be addressing meetings.
Modi will informally launch BJP’s election campaign in Maharashtra by addressing a rally in Solapur on January 9. The programme is organised to lay foundation stones for a clutch of projects, including an affordable housing scheme and water supply scheme for Solapur, to be built by the state government. A BJP functionary said Modi, who is the party’s biggest campaigner, will be addressing several rallies in Maharashtra, but the details are being worked out.
BJP chief Amit Shah will address party workers at Latur on January 6 to discuss a strategy for winning seats in Marathwada region. The meeting will have party workers from Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded and Hingoli Lok Sabha constituencies. Of them, two constituencies (Nanded and Hingoli) are the only seats that the BJP’s main opposition Congress had won in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Shiv Sena said they have informally kicked off the campaign with a rally in Pandharpur last month. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addressed a huge crowd there on December 24. “The rally in Pandharpur was a start of sorts for our campaigning. Apart from that, we will start other rallies across the state by towards the end of the month. The plan is still being finalised,” said a Sena functionary, requesting anonymity.
The NCP will kick-start its campaign from Mahad in Raigad district with a rally to be addressed by party chief Sharad Pawar. It will be followed by a Nirdhaar Parivartan Yatra, a month-long state-wide tour to cover Lok Sabha constituencies where the party is likely to contest the elections in its alliance with Congress and other opposition parties.
Congress and NCP have already declared to forge a pre-poll alliance for the 2019 elections.
“The party leadership has decided to start the yatra from Raigad Fort, the capital of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, which will be followed by a rally led by the NCP chief in Mahad, which is famous for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s agitation against untouchability,” said a senior party leader.
Meanwhile, the Congress is yet to decide on its mega rally. The party’s top brass in the state are planning a rally by Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai. The party’s state unit is also keen to invite three newly sworn chief ministers from the Congress — Kamal Nath, Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel — for the rally. However, a final decision is yet to be taken.
The Congress is also launching the last leg of its Jan Sangharsh Yatra from Nagpur on January 8.
It is just a matter of time before the atmosphere in Maharashtra will be stirred by the whirlwind tours and high-decibel speeches of top politicians as the grand battle for the Parliament begins.
First Published: Jan 05, 2019 09:25 IST