BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will start the party’s general election campaign in Uttar Pradesh next month from the Congress bastions of Kanpur, Jhansi and Bahraich. This would be Modi’s maiden visit to the state after his elevation as chairman of BJP’s central election campaign committee and his anointment as the party’s PM candidate.
The Chief Minister and party’s national president Rajnath Singh are scheduled to address a rally in Kanpur on October 15 followed by another one at Jhansi on October 25 and in Bahraich on November 8, BJP’s state chief spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said. All the three areas are considered to be Congress bastions, with two having representation in the UPA government.
While Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal is MP from Kanpur, Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain ‘Aditya’ is MP from Jhansi. Bahraich parliamentary constituency is also represented by Congress MP Commando Kamal Kishore. Modi did not campaign in Uttar Pradesh during the state Assembly elections last year.
Uttar Pradesh, with its 80 seats contributes about 15 per cent of the Lok Sabha’s 545 MPs and plays an important role in deciding which party comes to power at the Centre. In the 2009 general elections, the BJP was last behind the Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress.