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HomePoliticsGujarat Election 201730 ministers, one day: BJP plans blitzkrieg in battle for Gujarat

30 ministers, one day: BJP plans blitzkrieg in battle for Gujarat

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Central ministers like Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and Nitin Gadkari, as well as CMs Yogi Adityanath, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Chouhan are set to address three rallies each on one day.

In its bid to win a fifth straight term in power in Gujarat, the BJP is planning an unprecedented campaign blitzkrieg by central ministers and state chief ministers.

According to top sources in the party, 30 senior leaders will descend on the state on a single day, visiting a multitude of constituencies, in a show of strength that’s designed to convince voters to support the Modi model yet again.

The date for this political carpet bombing hasn’t been finalised yet, but is expected to be around 25 November.

The list of ministers is expected to include Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar. The list of chief ministers is expected to feature Yogi Adityanath, Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Devendra Fadnavis, Raman Singh, and Manohar Lal Khattar.

Waiting for gazette notification

While the BJP’s final list of star campaigners is yet to be finalised, the dates and schedules for the ministers’ blitzkrieg are already being drawn up, party sources said.

The party seems to be waiting for the official gazette notification for the assembly polls, which is scheduled to be released on 14 November. The nomination process for the first phase of polling on 9 December is to be completed by 21 November, with the scrutiny of the papers due on 22 November.

Eighty-nine of Gujarat’s 182 seats will go to the polls in the first phase, with the others set to vote on 14 December.

Also read: Godmen chant Modi mantra in poll-bound Gujarat

The plan is to inundate the state with star campaigners soon after the nomination process, with each senior leader set to address at least three public gatherings on the same day. Tentatively, the party is working on 25 November as the date for this mega event.

“The state party unit is thinking of bringing in more leaders, but a consensus has been built on working with 30 leaders for the moment. The date for the leaders to congregate in the state is yet to be finalised, but is likely to be around 25 November,” a senior leader told ThePrint.

At present, the party is busy making arrangements for the leaders’ travels, as they would need to cover huge distances for their programmes. Approximately 10 to 15 helicopters are likely to be pushed into service to cover far-flung venues.

Significance of the election

While every election is important for the BJP, the Gujarat polls are especially important as the state is home to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, and was their political laboratory between 2001 and 2014. The Gujarat model is what Modi and Shah have projected in every poll, leading the BJP to important victories across the country.

The party’s tally currently stands at 120 in the Gujarat Assembly, and any loss of seats will be seen denting Modi’s standing and likely impact other subsequent elections. Shah, in fact, has stated that the BJP’s mission is to win 150 seats and the party is leaving no stone unturned. In addition to the planned blitzkrieg of ministers, the party is also running a Jan Sampark Abhiyaan or a door-to-door campaign.

The importance of the election can be gauged from the fact that the BJP has put Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in charge of its preparations, assisted by four central ministers – defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, rural development and mining minister Narendra Singh Tomar, PMO MoS Jitendra Singh, and law and justice MoS P.P. Choudhary.

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