BJP’s Bengal focus: Nearly double PM rallies for 6 fewer seats than Maharashtrahttps://indianexpress.com/elections/bjps-bengal-focus-nearly-double-pm-rallies-for-6-fewer-seats-than-maharashtra-5730070/

BJP’s Bengal focus: Nearly double PM rallies for 6 fewer seats than Maharashtra

Modi is scheduled to address rallies at Mathurapur and Dum Dum on Thursday, when campaigning ends in Bengal, as per the Election Commission’s order. This will take the total to 17, a number eclipsed only by his rallies in the politically crucial UP, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.

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PM Modi at a rally in Bankura in West Bengal (File/PTI Photo)

West Bengal remained the second most focused area of canvassing for the BJP this Lok Sabha election after Uttar Pradesh, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party’s top campaigner, addressing as many as 15 rallies until Wednesday.

Modi is scheduled to address rallies at Mathurapur and Dum Dum on Thursday, when campaigning ends in Bengal, as per the Election Commission’s order. This will take the total to 17, a number eclipsed only by his rallies in the politically crucial UP, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.

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Modi is scheduled to hold rallies at Mau, Chandauli and Mirzapur in UP on Thursday, which will take his UP rally tally to 31. In NDA-governed Maharashtra, which sends 48 members to the Lok Sabha — the second highest after UP — Modi addressed only nine rallies.

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In comparison to 17 rallies in West Bengal, which sends 42 MPs to Lok Sabha, Modi has addressed only nine rallies in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. These states together have 101 Lok Sabha seats.

In contrast, Modi addressed eight meetings in Odisha, which has 21 Lok Sabha seats.

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BJP supporters at PM Narendra Modi’s rally in South 24 Parganas district. (PTI Photo)

On Friday, the last day of campaigning in the other states barring Bengal that go to the polls in the last phase on May 19, Modi is scheduled to address a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh. If these six rallies over the next two days are included, Modi will address 144 poll meetings in 27 states since the election dates were announced in March.

For the 65 seats from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, states where the BJP lost power in recent Assembly elections, Modi addressed a total of 20 rallies. In Bihar, which elects 40 MPs, he addressed 10 rallies.

Modi addressed only eight rallies in the whole of the Northeast, including the maximum four in Assam. The north-eastern states elect 24 Lok Sabha MPs.