As Lok Sabha polls draw closer in this temple town, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Narendra Modi's presence on party posters and banners today surprisingly came down drastically, apparently due to "technical" reasons related to election expense limits.
Modi has been replaced by Atal Bihari Vajpayee on many posters and banners, including those at a scheduled press conference of senior leader Amit Shah, which had to be postponed due to "unavoidable reasons". Even in BJP party offices, the changes were visible.
BJP leaders were mostly trying to downplay this change from earlier trend of Modi's face and slogans about him dominating the posters and banners in a big way.
When asked about this, party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said there was no change in the campaign strategy and the party continues to project Modi as its prime ministerial candidate with the same zeal.
When questioned further, he, however, admitted that there were some "technical" reasons for Modi's presence coming down on posters and banners.
He said that the election rules are such that costs for such campaign materials would be counted within the candidate's individual poll expense limits if his or her face, or slogans about the candidate, are there.
This came in the backdrop of the party facing some issues with election authorities over approval for a Modi rally scheduled here for tomorrow.
Trivedi, however, declined to comment on the delay in approval, although sources said that the rally may finally take place tomorrow.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and other opponents have accused BJP of not disclosing exact poll expenses of Modi. Details filed with election expense observers show that Modi's expenses were less than Rs 6 lakh as on May 1, as against Rs 25-35 lakh each for AAP's Kejriwal and Congress' Ajay Rai.
BJP leaders attributed this to the expenses being incurred from party accounts and dismissed talks of any anomaly in this issue as propaganda of opposition.