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BJP 'carpet bombing' to begin on April 6

March 17, 2004 21:30 IST

As the countdown begins for the Lok Sabha polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party will launch a 'carpet bombing' campaign by its leaders across the country beginning with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's rally in Lucknow on April 5 followed by Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani's public meeting in Ayodhya the next day.

In an indication of the party giving a 'Hindutva' touch to the final phase, firebrand Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would be kicking off the party's campaign in neighbouring Maharashtra, where the party is contesting the polls in alliance with the right-wing Shiv Sena.

Advani had on Tuesday said at Solapur in Maharashtra that the BJP could never forget Lord Ram as Ram Rajya symbolised good governance.

"The third and the final phase of the campaign would be launched on the party's foundation day on April 6 when the party's top brass would address public meetings across the country," party general secretary and spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

Vajpayee, along with Advani, would jointly address a public meeting at the Prime Minister's constituency of Lucknow on the eve of the campaign launch, Naqvi said.

To a specific question, party spokesman and Law Minister Arun Jaitley said there was no special significance to Advani beginning his rally from Ayodhya.

"It happens to be geographically near Lucknow and falls on the route of his Porbandar to Puri leg of Bharat Uday Yatra," he said. The party planned to hold at least 250 rallies ahead of the elections.

Party chief M Venkaiah Naidu would launch the high-voltage campaign in Gujarat, Murli Manohar Joshi in Orissa, Jaswant Singh in Kerala, Pramod Mahajan in Rajasthan, Arun Jaitley (Punjab), Sushma Swaraj (Madhya Pradesh), Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (Jammu and Kashmir), Uma Bharati (Bihar) and Rajnath Singh (Chhattisgarh).

In the ongoing second phase of the campaign, the party has already held 284 meetings.

Among the other senior party leaders who would be kickstarting the poll campaign in different states on April 6 are Bal Apte (Chandigarh), Yashwant Sinha (Jharkhand), Vinod Khanna (Assam), Shatrughan Sinha (Andhra Pradesh), Ravi Shankar Prasad (Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry), Vasundhara Raje (Karnataka), B C Khanduri (Himachal Pradesh), Sanghpriya Gautam (Haryana), Kalraj Mishra (Uttaranchal), Raman Singh (Delhi), Arjun Munda (West Bengal), Manohar Parikkar (Goa), Gegong Apang (Sikkim) and Arun Shourie (Anadaman and Nicobar).

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