Mumbai

'Target 45':BJP-Sena to begin poll campaign after Holi


Mumbai, Mar 13 (IANS): Aiming a tally of a whopping 45 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party-Shiv Sena combine will formally kick-start their election campaign from the temple town of Kolhapur on March 24.

Coming three days after the Holi festivities (March 20-21), the campaign rally will be addressed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, state BJP chief Raosaheb Danve-Patil and other senior leaders from both parties, said a BJP leader here on Wednesday.

Later, as the election season warms up, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah will also address rallies in the state with Thackeray, and other meetings are planned with several Union Ministers, BJP Chief Ministers and top party functionaries.

The March 24 mega-rally - in which over 300,000 people are expected to attend - was finalized after a meet between Fadnavis and Thackeray and their senior aides on Tuesday night.

On March 24, Thackeray will offer prayers at the famed Mahalaxmi Temple in Kolhapur before the campaign programmes.

Prior to the March 24 mega-rally, the two parties have also planned meetings of elected representatives and party office-bearers on March 15 for the regions which will go to polls in the first phase, on April 11.

The two parties sealed their alliance on February 18 with the BJP and the Sena contesting 25 and 23 seats, respectively.

Subsequently in Pune, Shah and Fadnavis declared that they had set a target of bagging at least 45 out of the state's 48 parliamentary seats and ensure a return of the Modi government with increased majority at the centre.

Maharashtra will vote on April 11, 18, 23 and 29, in the first four phases of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.

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