BJP president Amit Shah would address a rally in Mumbai on April 6 on the occasion of the party’s 38th Foundation Day, which is seen as a formal launch of its campaign for the 2019 polls.
Party workers from various parts of Maharashtra are expected to attend the event to be held at the MMRDA grounds in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in suburban Bandra.
Besides Shah, Union ministers hailing from Maharashtra and other BJP leaders will address the congregation to be held at 11:30 AM, state unit president Raosaheb Danve said while addressing a press conference on Wednesday.
For the saffron party, the Mumbai venue has an emotional connect, as its first convention after formation of the party was held in the Maharashtra capital in 1980.
“The BJP intends to have one crore members in the state. We have a team of 25 youths comprising women, dalits, OBCs and adivasis for manning each booth in the state. There are 315 booths in each Assembly constituency. This takes the total number of booth workers in each constituency to 7500,” said Danve.
Maharashtra has 288 Assembly constituencies.
Danve said arrangements have been made to bring the party workers to Mumbai in trains, buses and jeeps.
Referring to the 1980 convention, Danve said a clarion call was then given for making Atal Bihari Vajpayee the next Prime Minister, which took some years to materialise.
“Vajpayee was elected prime minister thrice in later years. After the BJP’s BKC rally in 2014 (which was addressed by the BJP’s then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi) power was changed in the country, similarly this upcoming mega rally will also enthuse party cadres with new energy and the impact would be seen nationwide,” he said.
To a question whether the rally can be viewed as the formal launch of the BJP’s electoral campaign, Danve replied, “Yes, you can say that”.
To a question on whether the BJP’s ally Shiv Sena or newly-elected Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane is invited for the rally, Danve replied in the negative saying it is the party function.
“Rane is an NDA ally and we are supporting him,” he said.
Rane, whose Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha is an ally of the NDA, was recently elected to Rajya Sabha on the BJP’s support.
On the Sena’s stand to not have any electoral truck with the BJP in the next Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, Danve evaded a direct reply.
“The BJP is constantly working to strengthen the organisation and the efforts would yield the party good results,” he said.
On the criticism by the Opposition parties that the BJP was holding a party rally at a time when farmers are in distress, the BJP leader said the state government has been tirelessly working to improve the life of farmers.
“The BJP never ignored the farmers,” he said.
Speaking after Danve, Mumbai BJP unit president Ashish Shelar said Shah would land in Mumbai on Thursday evening and will be accompanied from the airport to the BKC, a distance of around 9 kms, by BJP workers on motorcycles.
“On April 5 evening, Shah will meet the core committee of the state BJP that includes Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other senior leaders,” said Shelar.
He said Shah might hold a press conference on April 6 after addressing the rally and will also interact with BJP legislators and MPs from Maharashtra.
Shah is not scheduled to meet Sena president Uddhav Thackeray who resides in suburban Bandra which houses the BKC, the venue of the rally, said Shelar.