Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Gujarat about half a dozen times in weeks preceding the announcement of election dates on October 25, will lead the BJP’s election campaign in his home state from November 27.
About 50 Union ministers, BJP chief ministers and other senior party leaders are likely to carpet-bomb the state for full one fortnight.
Prime Minister himself is likely to address about three dozen rallies, besides, he is to take part in several road-shows.
That is the one reason why the Winter Session of Parliament has been delayed and it would now start from December 15. The two-phase poll in Gujarat would take place on December 9 and 14.
The BJP ministers who are likely to be air-dropped include Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Uma Bharti.
It needs to be recalled that LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan has already campaigned in the state apparently to woo Dalit voters towards the BJP.
Chief Ministers Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Raman Singh and Vasundhara Raje Scindia will also address rallies.
This will be besides party president Amit Shah and Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, who are already toiling hard.
The UP chief minister had already visited Gujarat and had addressed several meetings before the announcement of election dates last month.
Incidentally, some of the ministers and leaders who are being pressed into service in Gujarat were not used in UP election earlier this year.
Political observers are of the view that the BJP has re-drawn its strategy after it tested the waters in September and October when the Prime Minister paid several high profile visits to the state.
On Sep 14 he came here with the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to lay the foundation of Bullet train project.
On September 17 he returned again to inaugurate Sardar Sarovar Dam though chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and monks from Varanasi, PM’s parliamentary constituency, stayed away in spite of invitation. It was then said that the fortnight before Durga Puja is not considered auspicious for the start of any new project.
On October 16 he launched several big projects for Gujarat. The Congress then alleged that it was for this purpose that Election Commission was forced to delay the announcement of polling dates in Gujarat.
Analysts are of the view that since Modi, Amit Shah and other leaders did not draw big crowds then they tried to re-draw the poll strategy.
With the trio of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani posing a big challenge this time the fight is not just BJP vs Congress. It is the battle for the survival of the trio, who are new to the electoral politics.
Unlike the traditional Congressmen the supporters of these three leaders are giving a big challenge to RSS cadres in all villages and towns of the state.
Reports suggest that at many places they are not even letting the BJP leaders enter the villages.
Thus the battle this time would be very different, may be like the 2004 Lok Sabha election when the Congress won 12 out of 26 seats, though the popularity of Modi was at its peak.