NEW DELHI: With exactly a week to go to the polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda, three chief ministers, six union ministers and over a dozen senior leaders of the party including MPs descended on the national capital on Saturday to campaign for the February 8 contest. The party had planned extensive canvassing to consolidate the party’s hold over traditional supporters, and swing in its favour those who hadn’t made up their minds yet.
The leaders attended 60 programmes including public meetings, padyatras (marches) and roadshows on Saturday. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who is on a two-day whirlwind campaign in Delhi addressed four meetings in Karawal Nagar, Narela, Adarsh Nagar, and Rohini. He will speak at two rallies on Sunday including one in Tughlaqabad constituency. Senior party leaders, associated with scheduling of rallies, said the UP CM is in much demand and candidates have been sending their requests in large numbers. The three other CMs, Jai Ram Th a k u r (Himachal Pradesh), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), and Trivendra Singh Rawat of Uttrakhand addressed six public meetings held in different constituencies. Between January 23 and 31, BJP leaders have participated in 2,586 campaigning events in Delhi, with a little over 323 such events per day.
Home Minister Amit Shah himself attended certain events in the city. The party for this election has changed its strategy and is focusing on small gatherings of about 250-300 people instead of big rallies. The party will only hold two big public meetings on February 3 and 4 in Karkardooma and Dwarka which would be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Party leaders and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have been conducting drawing-room meetings in which 15-20 people participate. Small gatherings are part of a well-planned campaigning strategy to reach out to the maximum number of voters,” said a Delhi BJP functionary.