As poll battle intensifies, PM Modi to address 20 meetings in 3 states3 min read . Updated: 18 Oct 2018, 04:42 AM IST
Narendra Modi will be campaigning in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan for the first time after taking over as prime minister 4 years ago
New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance is planning get Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address at least 20 public meetings in the poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh—the latter for the first time since becoming Prime Minister more than four years ago.
Senior leaders and campaign managers in the three BJP-ruled states said the party has divided Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in 10-12 different zones and each will have at least one Modi rally.
“For a better election campaign, we have divided Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh into 10 different zones. We are planning to organise at least one public meeting of PM in each zone or may be two zones can be clubbed. There will be at least 20 public meetings of PM in the three states. We are in the process of finalising the dates," said a senior BJP leader involved in campaigns in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Senior BJP leaders said the PM would use the Namo app to reach out to people—as he did in the Karnataka and Gujarat assembly polls. “It is a direct means of communication and PM can reach out to people and party workers simultaneously."
Facing a three-term anti-incumbency in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, BJP leaders have also reached out to its ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to help the party in its outreach programme. BJP leaders are worried that the recent decision by the union government to re-introduce changes made in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has annoyed a section of upper caste and members of the other backward classes (OBCs).
Members of the RSS have been asked to reach out to people door-to-door across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to help the party convince the upper caste voter base of the party.
“The message of the party is very clear. We want to take the message of PM to different areas of the state. Those who are not deprived should look after the deprived and marginalised sections of people. People should take a mature and thoughtful view of the situation. These disparities between people on the basis of caste and financial differences exist and those who are in a better situation should help the financially and socially deprived," the BJP leader said. Realizing that there was a chance that some of the BJP supporters who are annoyed with the party may not come out to vote for the party, senior leaders of the BJP along with RSS members are campaigning against NOTA (none of the above) option on the voting machine. BJP leaders are asking its members to put across the message that people should not opt for NOTA as it will help opposition parties. “We want people to choose a candidate and vote for BJP. Votes going to NOTA only help the opposition parties, so we are asking people not to opt for NOTA," the BJP leader added.
Five states go to the polls this year. Elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will be held on 28 November, while Rajasthan and Telangana go to the polls on 7 December. Elections in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases on 12 November and 20 November. Counting for all five states will take place on 11 December.
“RSS intervention is typically the last straw and an indication that the party really needs its support. The issue related to SC/ST Act is a challenge for the party and there is a need to manage the social base as well as voter base which is probably annoyed with BJP. The party has also reached its saturation point in these 3 states and it now needs the RSS network to put across its message of development and flagship programs of government," said Jai Mrug, a Mumbai based political analyst.