New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign for the Delhi assembly elections is likely to feature most of its chief ministers from across the country, apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other cabinet ministers.
The Delhi BJP Wednesday released a list of 40 star campaigners who will address public meetings and rallies in the national capital ahead of the 8 February elections, the results of which will be declared on 11 February.
The chief ministers’ list includes Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath, Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar, Uttarakhand’s Trivendra Singh Rawat and Himachal Pradesh’s Jai Ram Thakur.
On the Union ministers’ list are Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Thawarchand Gehlot, Prakash Javadekar, Nityanand Rai, Hardeep Singh Puri, Smriti Irani, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Som Parkash, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Dharmendra Pradhan, Arjun Munda, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Anurag Thakur. The BJP’s former chief ministerial candidate in Delhi and Union minister for health as well as science and technology Harsh Vardhan will also campaign, as will Bollywood star and Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol.
Smaller public meetings instead of rallies
In a departure from tradition, the BJP, which is known for its big rallies, has decided to hold smaller public meetings of 250-450 people. According to sources, more than 5,000 such public meetings will be held across the capital.
Explaining the rationale behind the smaller public meetings, a senior BJP leader said the small gathering has proven to be more impactful compared to bigger ones. “Organising bigger rallies for 1,000-2,000 people is a challenging task, and after holding one or two such rallies, it is difficult to keep the momentum. In smaller ones, we are able to reach out to our target groups much more easily too,” the leader said.
Another BJP leader added: “People from all communities reside in Delhi, and small meetings will be held with chief ministers. Their dates and availability are being checked, and from 23 January onwards, these meetings and rallies will start,” another BJP leader told ThePrint.
PM Modi is likely to address a rally in an unauthorised colony which has recently been regularised by order of his government, even though the Delhi BJP has asked for two rallies, sources said.
Shah, meanwhile, is likely to address a number of public meetings across Delhi’s 70 constituencies.
Significance of the polls
The 8 February elections are important for the BJP, following five electoral setbacks in the span of one year. It managed to remain in power in Haryana only thanks to a new ally, Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party.
The BJP hasn’t ruled the national capital since 1998, but hopes the Narendra Modi government’s decision to regularise thousands of unauthorised colonies will boost its electoral fortunes. However, the AAP has also taken credit for the move.