Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
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To secure own turf, Modi holds three-day meetings with BJP workers in Varanasi

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Party sources say it’s not about winning the seat but the victory margin, which should remain as significant as 2014 when Modi beat Kejriwal.

New Delhi: Since Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been holding closed-door meetings via video-conferencing with BJP workers in his constituency Varanasi, taking stock of work undertaken as well as voter mood, a move aimed at securing his own turf during the 2019 polls.

According to top BJP sources, three separate video interactions via NaMo app are being held from Monday to Wednesday, with the first two being conducted as closed-door affairs while the third and last one expected to be more public.

This comes at a time when the opposition attempts to cobble together a grand coalition to take on Modi and the BJP in the general election next year.

In 2014, Modi won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, defeating Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal by a thumping margin of 3.37 lakh votes. He had also won the other seat he contested — Vadodara — in his home state Gujarat.

Sources in the party say the “question is not about the PM winning, but about ensuring he retains a significant margin of victory”.

As the BJP battles anti-incumbency at the Centre and in several key states, the sense in the party is that if Modi’s victory margin isn’t as impressive, it would be a dampener for the party as a whole and will raise questions about the popularity of BJP’s trump card itself.


Also read: Eye on 2019, Modi-Shah to discuss party’s poll strategy with CMs of BJP-ruled states


The PM Monday interacted with zila and mahanagar presidents of Varanasi, along with their respective teams. Then, he held discussions with zila and mahanagar mandal presidents and their teams Tuesday. Wednesday’s interaction will be with all the BJP workers in Varanasi as well as various morchas or teams.

In his interactions so far, the PM has spoken about development undertaken in Varanasi, the upcoming waterways port, cleanliness drive, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, due in January as well as voter registration.

Party sources say besides being a stock-taking and review exercise, the idea is also to motivate party workers ahead of the polls.

While the plan was to conduct one large, all-encompassing interaction, the sources say Modi decided to hold smaller ones instead since he felt they would be more focused and less impersonal.


Also read: Eye on 2019, Modi-Shah to discuss party’s poll strategy with CMs of BJP-ruled states


 

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