Leading the BJP’s election campaign in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold around 25 rallies across his home state as the ruling party aims to reach voters in 150 Assembly constituencies.
Sources told News18 that the dates for these rallies will be finalised after approval for the schedule from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The rallies led star campaigners, including the PM, are expected to begin from next week. “The Prime Minister’s programs are expected to be finalised by November 12. We have tentatively sought time for the PM’s first rally on November 17,” a source said.
The state will vote in two phases on December 1 and December 5, with the counting of votes to be held on December 8, along with Himachal Pradesh.
Apart from PM Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will also tour Gujarat as a star campaigner for the BJP.
Sources said the BJP’s strategy to win an unprecedented seventh term in Gujarat is being headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is expected to closely monitor the campaign.
Senior central ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Arjun Munda and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will also address rallies in various parts of the state, sources said. BJP President JP Nadda will hold roadshows in Gujarat as well.
Central ministers have also been deputed to various regions of Gujarat to accompany BJP candidates when they file their nominations, sources added.
The BJP is trying hard to avoid a repeat of 2017 elections when it could not touch the three-digit mark and ended up with its worst-ever performance in over two decades with 99 seats. The state has an emotional and prestigious connect with the party, being the home state of both PM Modi and Amit Shah.
Both leaders are said to be closely monitoring the campaign since the election outcome is bound to have an impact on Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
“Our PM has said that we need to break our own record of 127 seats (2002 elections) in the state this time,” said the source.
The target is understood to be the reason the BJP has denied tickets to 38 sitting MLAs.