BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is likely to conclude the election campaign for Pune district with a rally on April 15. Keen to cash in on the “Modi wave”, the party is trying to ensure his rally benefits all alliance candidates fielded in the district, apart from BJP’s Pune candidate Anil Shirole.
“With the first phase of elections ending on April 10, the next phase will see the BJP prime ministerial candidate focus on western Maharashtra and all its constituencies. We planned out a schedule and the request was forwarded to our central office. We have been given the consent and Modiji is likely to close our campaign in Pune,” said a BJP member.
The party is chalking out a detailed programme for Shirole. But since it is contesting the elections under the banner of ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance), the Modi rally will benefit all candidates of the alliance in the four Lok Sabha constituencies of the district, believe its leaders. While Shirole has been fielded from Pune, Shiv Sena’s Shivaji Adhalrao is the alliance candidate for Shirur. Mahadev Jankar of Rashtriya Samaj Paksh and Shrirang Barne of Shiv Sena are contesting from Baramati and Maval, respectively. The party said they were trying to make this the last sabha to be addressed by star campaigners for the alliance.
Pune district is likely to see star campaigners Navjot Singh Sidhu, Smriti Irani, Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Gopinath Munde, Nitin Gadkari and Vinod Tawade addressing the voters. With the BJP announcing its candidate for Pune coming only a week ago, the party is planning aggressive campaign for all these leaders.
“The alliance believes that if Modi comes into picture, the alliance will benefit considering the existing Modi wave in the country,” said a Sena leader. By holding press meets together, the alliance is trying to assure the public that there are no differences between the alliances. Modi’s rallies are planned in Kalyan, Aurangabad, Hatkanangale, Madha and Satara.
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With the prime ministerial candidate ready to hold 185 rallies across the country, he plans to have these rallies in the state and since the elections are being held in phases, he will have time to cover all parts of the state, say campaign managers of the party.
Of the total 48 seats in the state, BJP is contesting 26 and Shiv Sena 22, according to the seat-sharing arrangement. While BJP has given two seats from its quota to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and one to Rashtriya Samaj Party, Sena has given one seat from its quota to the Republican Party of India.