Modi to kickstart election campaign soon - The New Indian Express

Modi to kickstart election campaign soon

Published: 18th September 2013 07:43 AM

Last Updated: 18th September 2013 07:52 AM

BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will begin his campaign in the electorally important Uttar Pradesh from next month by addressing six-eight rallies in the state in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

Sources said Modi might have a debut rally in Banaras (Varanasi) to kick start his campaign and then a rally in Lucknow. These issues along with choosing candidate for the state came up during the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh core group meeting chaired by party president Rajnath Singh here on Tuesday.

The meeting saw senior state BJP leaders discussing the political situation in the state arising out of the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar.

Sources said the party weighed the pros and cons of the situation and were of the view that situation certainly favoured the party and people are likely to rally behind Modi.

Among those who attended the meeting included BJP state incharge Amit Shah, general secretary Varun Gandhi, UP state unit president Lakshmikant Bajpai, Kalyan Singh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Vinay Katiyar, and Rameshwar Chaurasia.

The BJP has already divided the state into eight zones to prepare zonewise strategy and flag issues important in these areas. These are: Western, Braj, Rohilkhand, Kanpur, Awadh, Bundelkhand, Gorakhpur and Kashi.

“Modi will hold six rallies in the state. He may begin with first rally in Banaras in October,” a BJP leader told Express. As rallies are being finalised in each of these zones, the number may go up beyond eight.

The issue of candidates to be fielded from the state was also discussed, the leader added.

However, party leaders denied the issue of Modi contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh. As Modi is likely to address a rally from Varanasi (Banaras), it strengthens his case of contesting the election from this seat, currently held by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.Before the meeting started, Rajnath Singh told reporters: “I have called leaders from Uttar Pradesh to discuss the situation in the state and evolve a strategy for the coming polls.”  He then went on to attack the ruling Samajwadi Party for failure to control the riots in the state.

BJP leaders say the riots have led to certain polarisation, especially in the Western UP where violence took place.

The current situation favours the party as dominant Jat community was miffed with the Ajit Singh-led RLD that normally cornered their votes, while the Muslims have already expressed their anguish against the Samajwadi Party, sources said.

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