The party’s poll campaign will formally be launched in Andhra Pradesh at the public meeting on Sunday.


Hyderabad: Prime Minster Narendra Modi will formally launch BJP’s election campaign in Andhra Pradesh from his public meeting at Guntur on Sunday, February 10. A gathering of over a lakh people is being planned for the rally, which is being held amid boycott call by AP Chief Minister and Telugu Desham Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu and a possible black-flag protests by his party men.

The PM will also participate in a few other official programmes on Sunday including some organized by the ONGC and Oil Ministry in the coastal Andhra. The PM’s public meeting named as “Praja Chaitanya Yatra” will witness him outlining the schemes sanctioned for the AP by his government at the Centre in the last five years. This is Modi’s first visit to Guntur district in central Andhra after a gap of four years.

The Sunday’s meeting comes close on the heels of BJP national president Amit Shah’s tour to North-Coastal Andhra last week. Shah had declared in his meetings that BJP was firm on unseating Naidu from power in Andhra Pradesh and show him his place in the national politics too. “We are permanently shutting NDA doors on him, even if he wants to join us later,” said Shah.

Andhra figures top on BJP’s agenda as the state faces Assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha polls in the next two months. AP accounts for 25 MPs and 175 MLAs. In 2014, BJP contested the polls in alliance with TDP and won two MPs and four MLAs. After TDP quit the NDA in May last year, BJP is now on its own and is likely to go it alone in the coming elections.

BJP, though not on a strong wicket in Andhra, is keen on winning at least three to four MPs and a double-digit seats in the Assembly, while reserving its energies mostly to defeat TDP from power in the state and weakening it in Lok Sabha. “Our main focus is to teach a lesson to Chandrababu Naidu who has no values in politis,” state BJP president Kanna Lakshminarayana told The Sunday Guardian.

At present, there are no talks on seat adjustments with any party, but BJP leaders are not ruling out the possibility of having some alliance with Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena and some movement on this expected only after the issuance of election notification. YSR Congress leader Jagan has made it clear that he would go it alone but he may help BJP win in some seats, the party sources said.

BJP is fielding some senior leaders for Andhra till the elections are completed. BJP general secretaries G.V.L. Narasimha Rao and Ram Madhav will look after overall coordination while another national secretary Shaym Sunder will take care of the visits of the PM Modi and Amit Shah who are expected to address over a dozen meetings.

The PM will address another meeting at Visakhapatnam on February 27 and Shah will hold a meeting with the state leaders by the end of this month. BJP will be leaving no stone unturned to see that Naidu’s TDP is decimated in the coming elections so that he would be powerless to pursue his anti-Modi politics at the national level, remarked BJP MLC Som Veerraju.

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