Ahead of the polls, sources in the party had said that the PM would address about seven to eight rallies before every phase. He had reportedly allotted two days before each phase to address a blitz of public meetings.
But citing the PM's absence from campaigning for almost nine days, the anti-BJP coalition had claimed that his rallies in Bihar were being cancelled because of the BJP's poor performance in the first two phases of elections.
The BJP however rejected that charge. At a press conference in Patna earlier this week, party chief Amit Shah had said, "There is a big gap in the elections, there are so many festivals...no rallies have been curtailed."
"The BJP has been deflated. They are bringing Hema Malini now, as if she will get victory for them," RJD Chief Lalu Prasad had said. Mr Prasad's son and the party's candidate from Raghopur, Tejaswi Yadav, said, "The BJP is trying to decide whom they should pin the loss on."
Some BJP insiders too, had raised questions, including dissenter Shatrughan Sinha, who tweeted: "A situation that led our star campaigner PM to cancel his Bihar rallies at the last minute...sending a negative message???"
The PM has already addressed nine rallies in the state for the first two phases. The current schedule means he will address a total of 26 rallies for Bihar, more than what he had addressed for Maharashtra. If the four rallies he addressed in the state before the announcement of polls ae added to this, it would make it a total of 30 rallies.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is seeking a third term and is leading an anti-BJP coalition, has taunted the rival party for seeking votes in the name of the PM. "The BJP doesn't have a leader. Will Prime Minister Modi become the Chief Minister?" he asked at a rally last weekend.
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