Varanasi: The election office of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Varanasi sees many visitors from Gujarat these days. More than 50 leaders and numbers of party workers from Gujarat are campaigning here for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is contesting the Lok Sabha election from here for the second time.
Four Gujarat BJP leaders, along with local party leaders, are working to ensure Mr Modi wins with a record margin. Since the Prime Minister is busy campaigning in the rest of the country, it is these four leaders who are managing the campaign for him here. Though Mr Modi’s victory is almost certain, they are not taking any chances.
Sunil Oza, former MLA from Bhavnagar, Gujarat, is in charge of the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. He had managed Mr Modi’s election here in 2014 and since then he has been here to take care of the MP’s office.
For local BJP workers, Mr Oza is the PM’s man here. Another Gujarat leader and former Gujarat home minister, Gordhan Zadafia, is co-in charge of party affairs in UP. He is also a part of the decision making process.
Interestingly, both Mr Zadafia and Mr Oza were rebels in the past.
They had revolted against the party and particularly Mr Modi, then Gujarat chief minister. They had also formed their own political outfit and fought assembly elections unsuccessfully against Mr Modi and the BJP.
Mr Zadafia re-joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election after Mr Modi was declared the prime ministerial candidate. “Modiji knows politics well. He knows how to use leaders’ skills better even if they are rebels,” said a BJP leader on condition of anonymity.
BJP president Amit Shah is also getting confidential reports on a daily basis from local leaders. Gujarat MP C R Patil, with his team of party workers is doing his job silently. His team makes phone calls to each and every “panna pramukh” (party worker in charge of a page of the voter’s list, who is expected to focus on voters whose names appear on that page) to ensure maximum voting in favour of Mr Modi.
According to local party leaders, Mr Patil has also been instrumental in implementing key development projects in this constituency.
Apart from these leaders, Mr Parindu Bhagat, known as Kakubhai, is monitoring legal matters with the Election Commission and taking care of election expenditure. Many other leaders from Gujarat are meeting Gujarati families living here and canvassing for Mr Modi....