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Adityanath most-sought-after CM for BJP campaign: Party leader

Lucknow: The BJP's star campaigner, Yogi Adityanath, seems to have emerged as the party's most-sought-after chief minister for campaigning in the high-stakes Assembly election, addressing more than 50 rallies in three states.

File Photo

In the past month, the saffron-clad leader has addressed several meetings in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, where BJP candidates are seeking his presence to improve their performance, a senior party leader said on Monday.

"So far, the 46-year-old Hindutva poster boy has addressed 53 meetings in the three states. In Chhattisgarh, he addressed the maximum number of 21 meetings, which is far more than those by party president Amit Shah, who addressed nine meetings, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed four rallies," said the BJP leader on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak on it.

Among the leaders outside the state, Adityanath did the maximum number of meetings, showing his growing clout, acceptance and demand among the party cadre, said another senior leader.

In Madhya Pradesh, where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is eying a fourth term, Adityanath addressed 15 meetings, while Shah and Modi held 25 and 10 rallies respectively.

Likewise, in poll-bound Rajasthan, the UP chief minister is scheduled to address 17 meetings as against 10 rallies scheduled for Modi.
Previously, in Karnataka, Kerala and Tripura too, Adityanath was the saffron party's star campaigner.

"Under the leadership of Adityanath, UP is progressing and setting an example of development for other states. Investments are coming as law and order has improved drastically as compared to previous regimes," BJP state spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi said.

"The demand for our CM in other states reflect his acceptability among people and our cadre beyond Uttar Pradesh," Tripathi said.

Chhattisgarh went to polls in two phases on November 12 and 20, Madhya Pradesh had elections on November 28 and Rajasthan will go to polls on Friday.

Before the Tripura Assembly election early this year, Adityanath, who belongs to the Nath sect of Shaivite tradition, was deputed as the party's trump card to woo followers of the sect and Gorakhshnath Peeth as they make a considerable chunk of voters in the northeastern state.

He had addressed over half-a-dozen public rallies and conducted a couple of road shows in the northeastern state. Five of seven seats, where the UP chief minister campaigned, was won by the BJP. The party rose from nil in 2013 to an impressive 43 of 59 seats, unseating the 25-year-old Manik Sarkar-led CPM government in Tripura.

Even before the Karnataka Assembly election dates were announced, Adityanath emerged as the main draw in the southern state. He had also campaigned for the BJP during the Gujarat elections in order to appeal to the Hindi-speaking migrants in the western state.

"After Narendra Modi, Adityanath has emerged as the most powerful Hindutva icon," said a BJP leader, adding he was sought after by the BJP state units, wherever elections were being held.

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