Ahmedabad: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will campaign in Gujarat over the next two days for what appears to be an attempt by the BJP to consolidate its core vote bank ahead of the assembly elections in the state later this year.
He will address gatherings in south Gujarat on Friday and Saturday as part of the Gujarat Gaurav Yatra being organised by the party. Sources in the BJP said that Adityanath will be one of the star campaigners for the party in the state.
According to sources, the rallies are part of the BJP’s plan to strongly counter Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who has been aggressively campaigning in Gujarat by organising road shows. Rahul Gandhi's remark over women in RSS is likely to be taken up by Adityanath in his speech.
The UP CM will arrive in Daman on Friday and hold rallies at Valsad and Surat in south Gujarat. He is also scheduled to address a gathering in Kutch on Saturday before returning to Lucknow on Sunday.
Adityanath is a bit of an enigma for most voters in Gujarat as they still do not know him well, said a senior BJP leader. "Yogi Adityanath will visit Gujarat several times to the run up to the election. He will be one of our star campaigners in the elections,” he added.
A large number of top BJP leaders from the state and centre are also participating in the yatra that is being held from October 1 to 15. It will culminate in a mammoth ‘mahasammelan’ that is being organised on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on October 16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will also address the crowd at the Sardar Patel Ring Road at Bhat between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
The dates for the election were set to be announced on Thursday. While the poll panel revealed the schedule for the election in Himachal Pradesh, it postponed the announcement for Gujarat. The EC said the dates will be announced separately but assembly elections in the state will be held before December 18.
Congress, however, smelled a conspiracy in the delay, with spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleging that the poll announcement wasn't made as PM Modi is going to address a rally in the state on October 16. "Onus lies on ECI to ensure level playing field by announcing Guj election dates & imposing Code of Conduct immediately (sic)," he said.