BJP lines up top guns, 20 rallies for PM Modi in West Bengal

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address more than 18 rallies in poll-bound West Bengal while home minister Amit Shah and the BJP’s national president JP Nadda are expected to cover each of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state among them in the next two months.

The rallies are planned in such a way that all the 23 districts of West Bengal are covered by these three leaders, according to people aware of the matter.

Apart from that, defence minister Rajnath Singh is expected to spend at least 10 days in the state campaigning and schedules of leaders such as Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath are being worked on, said party leaders. All star campaigners, including central ministers and party leaders, have been specifically asked to use local references and raise local issues to discard the “bohiragato” (outsider) tag used by the TMC to undermine the BJP.

Party leaders said they are hopeful that the PM would address about 20 rallies. “But since it’s an eight-phase election, the number of venues and rallies could be changed or added as per requirement after the first two phases of polling,” said a person aware of the matter.

A team of leaders from different states reached West Bengal to prepare for the PM’s rally on Sunday. “The demand for the PM’s rally is huge in all poll-bound states but in Bengal it is the most,” said a senior party leader, who did not wish to be identified. The leader said the PM’s rallies are being planned to cover the maximum area. “Barring Haldia and some places that he has already held rallies in and some small districts, the PM will visit each of the 23 districts. Ideally, we are looking at two-three rallies for every phase,” said the leader.

The BJP is also gearing up to reach up to the expectations of the local BJP unit to meet the demand of rallies – more than 1,000 by various CMs and central and state ministers. The PM had addressed about 12 rallies in the run-up to the Bihar assembly election last year, which was held in three phases.

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