With 162 seats still to go to the polls in the remaining three phases of the Assembly elections in Bihar, BJP Union ministers campaigning in Bihar have been asked to go to district headquarters and camp there. Party president Amit Shah, who himself is camping in Bihar for the past fortnight, has also asked these senior leaders to shun helicopter travel and take the road route wherever possible in order to have maximum interaction with the voters.
Sources close to Shah said the BJP president is very confident that the NDA will be winning the election in Bihar and will not get less than 140 seats in the state. “In his interaction with us in Maurya hotel in Patna recently, he told us that the BJP was coming to power in the state, with the NDA winning at least 140 seats, out of which, the BJP will win on 105-110 seats,” a party leader present in the interaction said. Shah, sources said, has been interacting with state party leaders in such late night interactions that stretch up to 1 a.m.
Shah, who was in Delhi for a day for his birthday, returned to Patna on Friday morning after which he went to Muzzafarpur where he spent the night, overseeing the election campaign. He will be staying in Bettiah on Saturday night. Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, too, is expected to reach Bettiah to address a series of political rallies to canvass for votes for the NDA candidate.
Similarly, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has been given the responsibility of 20 districts in and around Darbhanga, Madhubani and Jhanjharpur and has been asked to stay there till the election gets over.
Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy has been given the responsibility of Chapra, while his Cabinet colleague Giriraj Singh has been asked to look after Nalanda, which is the home district of Nitish Kumar. The Kosi belt, which has 57 seats and goes to poll in the last phase, is being handled by party in-charge of Bihar, Bhupendra Yadav. This belt is a Yadav stronghold.
Patna-based party officials said the BJP has also formed groups of 200 workers who have been asked to micromanage the rumours related to reservations that are being spread by Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar. “This group has been given the responsibility of going to district headquarters and counter the rumours being spread by our opposition. They are speaking to opinion makers in districts every day and explaining to them that we are not against reservations,” a party official said.