In a final push to their Lok Sabha election campaign in West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address two rallies at Mathurapur and Dum Dum on Thursday. This will take the total to 17, a number eclipsed only by his rallies in the politically crucial UP, which sends 80 members of the Lok Sabha.
There are several reasons for the BJP to focus on Bengal and that is why the state has remained the second most focused area of canvassing for the BJP this Lok Sabha election, with PM Narendra Modi, the party’s top campaigner, addressing as many as 15 rallies until Wednesday.
West Bengal is an electorally important state in the east, it sends 42 MPs to the Lok Sabha. In 2014, the BJP won only two of these 42 seats, indicating sizeable room for improvement. It us not surprising, therefore, that the party has been paying considerable attention to the state in the recent past.
Modi and Shah have together addressed more rallies in West Bengal than in their home state Gujarat. Even in Maharashtra, which sends 48 members to the Lok Sabha- the second highest after UP- Modi addressed only nine rallies.
The Prime Minister has clocked an average of three rallies in every phase of UP elections and two rallies in every phase in West Bengal. So far, Modi has addressed 21 rallies in UP and 13 rallies in West Bengal for the six phases of polling. Interestingly, Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP won 27 out of 29 seats in 2014, pales in comparison with the party’s star campaigner doing only five rallies, underscoring the PM’s priority in terms of campaigning.
Modi has addressed only nine rallies in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. These states together have 101 Lok Sabha seats. In contrast to it, Modi addressed eight meetings in Odisha, which has 21 Lok Sabha seats. In Bahar, which elects 40 MPs, the Prime Minister addressed 10 rallies.
Modi addressed only eight rallies in the whole of Northeast, including the maximum of four in Assam. The North eastern states elects 24 Lok Sabha MPs.