By the time the Lok Sabha poll drums fall silent on May 10, Narendra Modi would have undertaken the largest mass outreach in India's electoral history by travelling about 300,000 km for 437 public meetings in 25 states besides 1350 innovative 3D rallies.
The Modi juggernaut rolled out on September 15 last year with an ex-servicemen's rally in Rewari in Haryana and would continue till the evening of May 10 when electioneering for the ninth and last phase of the polls in which votes will be cast on May 12. Besides 437 public meetings, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate would have addressed another 1350 rallies through 3D technology across the nation. Another 600 3D rallies are planned between May 1 and 10, according to information available from BJP.
Additionally, Modi would have done 4000 'chai pe charcha' (chat over tea) interactions during which he discusses issues with common people as well as takes questions from across the country and internationally through video conferencing.Add to that, 196 'Bharat Vijay' rallies and the road shows in Vadodara and Varanasi, the two constituencies from where he is contesting, the BJP leader's outreach programme would have totalled an astounding 5827 rallies, programmes and roadshows.
BJP describes the campaign as historic and unprecedented in its intensity and scale in addition to being innovative and precise. Modi's campaign is one of the biggest mass mobilisation anywhere in the history of electioneering, says the party.
Reflecting the importance of Uttar Pradesh to his electoral fortunes, Modi has addressed the largest number of rallies, eight, in this state followed by four in Karnataka, three in Bihar, two each in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Assam and Odisha, besides one each in other states. Between May 1 and 10, 41 'Bharat Vijay' rallies are scheduled in 5 states. In addition, some 600 3D rallies are planned during this period.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said massive crowds, sometimes 4 lakh and above, had turned up at the rallies, particularly in UP. In their view the Oct 27 rally in Patna, where bombs had gone off, is regarded as a landmark because Modi had not called it off despite the threat he had faced. Use of technology has been one of the highlights of the Modi campaign and the 3D rallies through which the BJP leader connected with people in multiple places have been a big hit.
During 'chai pe charcha' programmes, Modi has interacted with people across India on issues such as agriculture and women empowerment. These chats were held across 4000 locations in 24 states in several rounds and, internationally, across 50 locations in 15 countries. Some 10 lakh people had participated in this innovative programme, the party said.
The prime ministerial hopeful's day begins at 5 AM and sometimes goes past midnight, the party said. "I am running, the affection of the people is making me run," Modi said during the campaign.
At a press briefing in the party headquarters, Lekhi said the historic campaign undertaken by Modi was to convey the message of development and good governance. She said in his 'hunkar' rally in Patna on Oct 27 Modi gave a message of peace and unity, saying that Hindus and Muslims should together fight poverty instead of fighting themselves.
Lekhi said Modi has proved all the media punditry wrong which said the road to Delhi for him would be lonely. "NDA is now a strong 25-party alliance," she said, referring to BJP's newfound allies like Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP.
People across the length and breadth of the country, she said, related with Modi's developmental message as he presented a "unique vision" to develop different states and regions He chose Arunachal to give a stern warning to China about its incursion into Indian territory and in Andhra Pradash he was the only leader who gave the "clarion call" for the development of both regions, Lekhi said. Modi also made it clear that country's federal structure is an article of faith for him as he as a Chief Minister understood its importance while Congress "trampled" over it again and again, she said.
"He spoke about councils for hill states and coastal states to be headed by the PM and having CMs of these states as their members," she said.
He is also committed to the development of eastern states like Odisha, Bihar and Bengal and dwelt at length about the issue in his speeches, she said.