NEW DELHI: The high-voltage campaign for the October 15 Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra came to an end on Monday evening with Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapping up his offensive against the Congress and other rivals who returned potshots in equal measure.
The dust and din came to an end at 5 pm when the loudspeakers went silent as political parties asked their cadre to get on with the job of door-to-door campaigning to persuade the electorate to vote in their favour.
By the time the election campaign in Maharashtra and Haryana, where the saffron party is going it alone, drew to a close on Monday, BJP leaders had addressed over 715 rallies in Maharashtra alone in the run-up to the October 15 polls.
Modi who became the face of the campaign addressed 27 rallies Maharashtra and 10 in Haryana.
As the stakes run high in Maharashtra, BJP leaders addressed over 715 rallies, out of which 300 were addressed by the party’s central leaders. While party president Amit Shah addressed 20 rallies, the highest count was clocked by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who belongs to the state.
Party sources said the leaders made development its election plank, telling people that the state could develop only if it had a BJP Government. Maharashtra is surrounded by BJP-ruled states such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa whose Chief Ministers were asked to campaign in the state to showcase the work they had done.
The party had put in place a three-tier election management system dividing the state into 50 clusters, each headed by a central leader or minister such as Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhupinder Yadav and Manoj Sinha. Such clusters covered roughly 5-10 Lok Sabha seats. The clusters were further divided into 280 sub-clusters which had one Assembly seat each under them. These sub-clusters had BJP ministers and MLAs and office-bearers from other states as incharges. These two tiers were headed by the leaders from outside the state, while the third tier had local leaders as incharges of Assembly seats. A BJP leaders said this was done to ensure that the work assigned to each leader was done successfully.
The BJP has also covered all the booths in the state with its cadre. The party also deployed 86 raths showing Modi’s speeches in areas with no access to TV or the radio.
A similar exercise was repeated in Haryana, where the state was divided into 10 zones, based on Parliamentary seats, with leaders from neighbouring states as incharges. Shah addressed 20 rallies in the state.
Also ReadFive Months After Poll Debacle, Congress Sticking to Old Ways