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Gearing up for the upcoming assembly polls, the Punjab unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has scheduled a rally in mid December which is likely to be addressed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the code of conduct is imposed by the Election Commission.
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Till now, the BJP leadership in the state was busy putting the internal organisational structure in place and appointing new office bearers at various positions in the state and district levels. In this bid, the state unit chief and Union Minister, Vijay Sampla, has been trying to focus on ensuring that his team is put into place before the party takes the electoral plunge.
Senior BJP leaders informed that the party has also decided to rope in senior leadership at the Centre including the national president Amit Shah and several cabinet ministers for the electoral rallies which are planned in the coming weeks. While Shah is expected to address the booth level workers rally which is likely to be attended by around 40,000 workers, other cabinet ministers and senior leaders will also make their presence felt on rallies planned for specific sections.
Other rallies planned will focus on the youth, scheduled castes and womens wing of the party. While Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani’s names are being discussed for the womens wing rally, the youth rally will be addressed by Anurag Thakur, the national head of the Yuva Morcha of the party.
Among other leaders who the state BJP is planning to invite for the election campaign are Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley besides the BJP chief. “While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing one rally before the code of conduct is imposed, we are planning other rallies for him after the election date is announced,” said a party leader.
When asked why the BJP was slow to get into the poll mode as compared to other parties including its ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the state secretary of BJP, Vineet Joshi, said that the party is very much geared up for polls. “We had to have an organisational structure in place. The reality is that we have been in poll mode for long and our successful rallies in the state including the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ in August are an example of that,” he said.
Joshi said that BJP should not be seen in isolation from the SAD and being a national party it is always expected to be present in the poll arena in a bigger format. “We must remember that in Punjab we are the junior partners in the alliance and therefore the lead has to be taken by the SAD. If SAD has been doing anything poll related then we too are equally a part of it because of the alliance,” said Joshi.