Amit Shah Plans Rally-for-Rally Strategy to Battle Akhilesh-Rahul in Uttar Pradesh
Lucknow: BJP president Amit Shah will hold a parallel roadshow in Allahabad on Tuesday at the same time as the one to be held jointly by Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi.
This is the first of three such roadshows being planned by the BJP in an addition to the party’s campaign to counter joint roadshows by the SPCongress alliance leaders in major cities across Uttar Pradesh in the ongoing assembly election, a senior BJP leader said.
Shah will hold a three-hour long roadshow on Tuesday from about 1:30 pm, at the same time as the SPCongress duo but on an adjoining route, finishing just in time for electioncampaigningtoendinAllahabad, where polling is due on Thursday. Shah will travel on an improvised truck, along with BJP state president Keshav Prasad Maurya and candidates such as Siddharth Nath Singh.
Next week, he is slated to lead another roadshow in Varanasi, where the Yadav-Gandhi duo is also expected to hold a roadshow. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents Varanasi in Lok Sabha, is scheduled to address nine more public rallies in UP till March 6 in keeping with his plan of addressing three rallies apiece in each of the seven phases of polling. Modi, who addressed a rally in Phulpur (Allahabad) on Monday, is due to address rallies in Bahraich and Basti on February 23, in Gonda the next day and in Mau on February 27. He may hold a big rally in Varanasi too next week.
“Allahabad and Phulpur, traditionally a Congress backyard, are vital to the BJP as the party holds none of t he 1 0 a s s e mbly s e at s here. Samajwadi Party holds six of the seats, Congress holds one while BSP holds three. Our state president Keshav Prasad Maurya is the MP from Phulpur and is determined to deliver the assembly seats to BJP this time,” said the BJP leader cited ear- lier, who did not wish to be identified. The BJP has pressed more than a dozen central ministers into the UP campaign, including Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Uma Bharti, Kalraj Mishra, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Pi y ush Goel, Ma h e s h S h a r ma , Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Santosh Gangwar. The party is using five choppers daily for whirlwind campaigning and four-five rallies daily in the state by Shah, Rajnath Singh, Maurya and Kalraj Mishra each. Candidates have been given the “freedom” to place requests to BJP’s prachar vibhag (campaign department) for sending in those on the party’s ‘star campaigners’ list to hold public rallies. “Many of our star campaigners are central ministers… hence they are
BJP President Amit Shah at a recent public meeting in Khurja.