This Article is From Nov 30, 2022

7 Rallies In 2 Days, What PM Modi's Blitz Says About BJP Campaign In Gujarat

BJP confident of retaining Gujarat in what appears to be a three-way contest; by Friday, PM Narendra Modi will have held last of his 27 rallies

7 Rallies In 2 Days, What PM Modi's Blitz Says About BJP Campaign In Gujarat
New Delhi:

With seven more rallies scheduled this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have held 27 election campaign rallies in his home state Gujarat this time, a number comparable to his 2017 tally of 34. 

This number is being interpreted two ways while the BJP — in spite of a three-way fight this time — says it's confident of retaining its hold of nearly three decades over the state. One, that the BJP does see a contest, as it did last time, when it got quite a fight from the Congress. And that the party continues to depend on PM Modi as its USP with the state leadership a distant second fiddle even in state polls.


PM Narendra Modi has held 20 rallies so far in Gujarat. (File)

In his last push, he will address three rallies on December 1, the day of the first round of polling, in areas that vote in the second round on December 5. The first one of these will be in Panchmahal district's Kalol, followed by Chhota Udaipur's Bodeli, and then Himmatnagar.

He will return to Gandhinagar for the night. The next day he has four rallies — starting with Kanakraj, then Patan and Sojitra, and finally Ahmedabad, where he will hold a roadshow besides the rally. He had started the campaign by visiting Somnath on November 20, and also came to the state for a number of government programmes ahead of the poll date announcement.

The Congress has run a relatively lowkey campaign managed mostly by Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of neighbouring Rajasthan. Rahul Gandhi has held some rallies by taking breaks from his 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', which is otherwise not passing through Gujarat — a fact the BJP has underlined to label him a "non-serious" politician. The Congress says it's riding a "quiet but strong undercurrent" against the BJP over price-rise and joblessness.

In terms of decibels, the AAP has managed to get noticed big time, with Arvind Kejriwal's "focus on education and health" being its selling point, besides a bet on taking away some of the BJP's core Hindutva voters. But both the BJP and Congress say AAP is riding mere hype that won't translate into votes.

Results are to be out on December 8, along with those of Himachal Pradesh which voted on November 12.