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Modi to campaign for BJP in five states

By TCN Special Correspondent,

Ahmedabad: Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing election meetings in five states going for assembly polls in April. These states are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal and Puducherry (Union Territory).

During assembly elections in Bihar last year, Modi was not allowed by BJP national leadership to address election meetings under pressure from NDA ally and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. Nitish, whose party banks on minority support, feared the loss of Muslim votes in the event of Modi touring the state during polls and making unsavoury comments about Muslims.

Narendra Modi

Modi is largely held responsible by Muslims for 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat which had claimed over 2,000 lives, mostly Muslims, besides destruction of Muslim properties worth thousands of crores and displacement of tens of thousands of Muslims from urban centres and rural areas.

To keep his Muslim constituents in good humour, Nitish had also returned Rs. 5 crore assistance the Gujarat government had extended for Kosi flood victims of 2008.

BJP sources here said that Modi would be touring the states after the budget session of the Gujarat assembly is over on March 31.

BJP national leadership, according to sources here, has no problem with Modi speaking at the election meetings in these states as the party is fighting the elections on its own, without alliance with any regional parties.

Moreover, BJP does not have much presence in any of these states. As BJP has always been using communal slogans to polarize the voters for political gains, sources say allowing Modi in these states where the party is going all alone may benefit the party.

Other senior leaders canvassing for the BJP in these states will be L K Advani, BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu.