For BJP state units, there is no bigger star than Narendra Modi
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Unlike in the past, this elections none of the BJP units in the poll-bound states of Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan wants Bollywood stars or former cricketers to campaign for the party candidates. All they want is Narendra Modi.
The demand for the BJP's prime ministerial candidate to attend rallies in these states has been such that the party central unit is struggling to accommodate the dates to their satisfaction, according to sources in the party.
"No state unit is demanding actors and actresses for campaigning this time. The only hero they are demanding is Narendra Modi," confided a senior party functionary.
He said Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is the convenor of party's programme implementation and coordination committee that schedules election tour programmes of senior leaders, is struggling to accommodate the demands.
Sources said the central party has secured at least 10 days from Modi in the next month — between November 2 and December 2 — for electioneering in these four poll-bound states. Modi is expected to address at least 25 election rallies in this period.
While the exact dates and location of these rallies are still being worked out in consultation with respective state units, Modi is tentatively expected to devote four days in Madhya Pradesh and three days in Rajasthan. Additionally, his services will be used for at least two days in Chhattisgarh and at least one day in Delhi for the assembly elections.
Party sources said that while these engagements of Modi are necessitated by the assembly elections, the party is not taking its eyes off the election preparations for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The party plans to hold public meetings in 458 Lok Sabha constituencies that will addressed by about 30 top central leaders. They would include members of party parliamentary board, prominent general secretaries and chief ministers among others.