NEW DELHI: Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to own up the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections campaign and hog the limelight by staying in his Parliamentary constituency Varanasi for three consecutive days, he failed to beat his record set during the Bihar polls by a whisker. While Modi logged in 24 rallies to his name by the time electioneering came to an end in UP on Monday, his best still remains 31 during the Bihar Assembly elections in 2015.
“Prime Minister addressed a total of 24 rallies as part of the Vijay Shankhnad campaign of the BJP in UP during the 26 days long campaign to wrest power in Lucknow after almost two decades, besides three roadshows in his Parliamentary constituency,” said a senior BJP functionary.
UP has a total of 403 Assembly seats, and Bihar has 243 constituencies. Yet, Modi had addressed as many as 31 big rallies in the state in his bid to give a boost to the prospects of the BJP pitched against the Mahagathbandhan of the JD (U)-RJD-Congress. However, the Prime Minister had addressed six big rallies in all the corners of UP during the course of four Parivartan Yatras taken out by the BJP a couple of months before the Election Commission announced dates for the UP polls. Thus, Modi addressed 30 rallies in all in UP since November last year.
With all guns blazing for the BJP in UP, Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and the party chief Amit Shah were in close company, with each having addressed over 150 rallies in the state. All the BJP leaders put together, the tally of the saffron rallies is said to be over 1200. “Rajnath Singh put all energy in the state even while he pitched in for the BJP in all other four poll bound states. The BJP chief too did not leave any stone unturned to ensure a saffron upsurge in the state,” added the BJP functionary.
Besides the top three campaigners, the BJP had also unleashed carpet-bombing during electioneering by taking Union Minister Kalraj Mishra to all parts of the state to counter the BSP chief Mayawati’s bid to make dent into the Brahmin constituency. BJP’s top polarisation agent and Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath was another top campaigner for the party, as he had been the most sought after leader in the western and eastern parts of the state.
Union Ministers – Nitin Gadkari, Mahesh Sharma, Uma Bharati, Manoj Sinha, Babul Supriyo among others – also addressed a large number of rallies in the state. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari along with a number of party leaders and MPs from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh addressed a large number of street corner rallies to canvass for the party nominees in the state.