NEW DELHI (TIP): With Dussehra over, BJP will get into campaign mode for the Haryana and Maharashtra assembly polls on a war footing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his senior ministers will have little time for anything else, criss-crossing the two states over the next two weeks, addressing rallies. BJP plans to hold at least four big rallies a day in each state till campaign ends for the October 15 polls.
Modi will begin his charge on Saturday morning from Karnal in Haryana and move to Maharashtra to address three rallies in Beed, Aurangabad and Mahalakshmi (Mumbai). The PM will address 8-10 rallies in Haryana and around 22 in Maharashtra.
Two senior ministers — home minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj — will be all over Haryana on Saturday, holding four rallies each in the state. Singh will be at Radaur, Kalayat, Julana and Jakholi Rai while Swaraj will address rallies in Kalka, Thanachhapar, Shahbad and Gohana. Singh will address about 15 rallies in each state.
The party has decided to have Swaraj, who belongs to Haryana, focus on the state where BJP is contesting on its own and is aiming to replace the Congress government. Similarly, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari has been asked to concentrate on Maharashtra, his home state, where BJP is contesting without its 25-year-old partner Shiv Sena this time.
Swaraj is scheduled to address about 22 rallies in Haryana and will be in Maharashtra only for a day on October 6, attending three rallies. She will take a break from campaigning as she is travelling abroad between October 8 and 10. Gadkari is expected to address about 36 rallies in Maharashtra.
Party veteran L K Advani will address six rallies in Maharashtra and two in Haryana, while Murli Manohar Joshi will address two rallies in Maharashtra and one in Haryana.
Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu is slated to spend four days in Maharashtra and two in Haryana. Other ministers who will address a few rallies in both states are chemical and fertilizer minister Ananth Kumar, HRD minister Smriti Irani and social justice minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. Party chief Amit Shah will address about 15 rallies in each state.
The party has roped in all its chief ministers to ensure its good governance campaign is showcased. Goa CM Manohar Parikkar will focus on Maharashtra while Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan will spare three days for Maharashtra and one for Haryana. Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje has three days in Maharashtra and two days in Haryana, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh and Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel will each spend two days in Maharashtra. On an average, the chief ministers will address three rallies a day, party vice-president M A Naqvi said.
Not to forget its star power, BJP has roped in actor-turned-MPs Hema Malini, Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha to campaign in both states.