No major event, gathering or rally has been lined up during the nine days of Navratri as chief minister Narendra Modi would be observing fast and worshipping the Goddess of power, said sources.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, has planned a series of rallies and tours for Modi immediately after Navratri. In fact, BJP has already hit the campaign trail for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Modi was declared the prime ministerial candidate by the party on September 13. Since then, he has been addressing rallies, party workers and state executives across the country. But, from October 5 to 13, Modi is likely to stay put in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad.
“There is a huge demand for Modi to address public rallies across the state. However, his personal schedule is also important. At the moment, no major rallies or public meetings have been fixed for the chief minister during Navratri,” said an official at the chief minister’s office.
For Narendra Modi, this has been his annual fasting time for years. He worships Ma Shakti during these nine days with Puja (prayer) early morning and does not eat anything. He only has lemon juice mixed with water from time to time. “Fasting is tough as he takes only water mixed with lemon juice. He generally avoids long travelling or tiring work during those days. He has to perform Puja around 4 am every morning. Thus, staying out the night is not possible,” said a BJP leader.
Only during the 2007 assembly election, did Modi travel extensively across the state for campaigning. Otherwise, he avoids major public events or party gatherings. In 2011, he had even skipped the party’s national executive meet as he was observing Navratri fast. Even in the run-up to the 2012 Assembly election, Modi remained confined in his official residence after chalking out the campaign strategy.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP is planning a series of rallies in the country’s most populous state. The first rally will be held in Kanpur on October 19. Amit Shah, his close aide and chief of campaigning in UP, is busy finalising the dates and venues for Modi. According to sources, rallies have also been planned in the state capital of Lucknow and the Gandhi bastions of Rae Bareli and Amethi.