Gujarat Polls: Meet the strategists behind Modi's campaign
Ahmedabad: While Narendra Modi addresses rallies around Gujarat hurling assaults at the UPA regime, a team of strategists take note of each and every aspect of the campaign.
Everything is strategically planned. Be it the 3D, Modi masks, media relations and even the 'much-acclaimed' Sadbhavana mission, everything is passed only after a team of Modi's most trusted lieutenants presiding over the BJP headquarters in Muslim-dominated Khanpur in Ahmedabad, give a go-ahead.
Though behind the scenes, these members have played a pivotal role in helping Modi take-off as a brand in the aftermath of the Godhra riots. In the 2002 assembly elections, the unit struck gold after Congress president Sonia Gandhi's "maut ka saudagar" remark against the chief minister proved to be a decisive factor in propelling the BJP back to power.
As Modi tries to retain his connect with the six crore Gujaratis, a team lead by close confidant Arun Jaitley, former home minister Amit Shah, Purshottam Rupala, RC Faldu and lawyer Parnendu Bhagat plan the daily course of action, bringing fresh ideas on the table.
Supervised by Sangh Parivar stalwart V Satish and joint general secretary (organisation) in BJP, the team is constantly in touch with Modi and Jaitley to work on the elections.
Modi’s trusted aide Rakesh Patel handles his Maninagar seat. While Jaitley's close team of Nirmala Sitaraman and Shrikant Sharma takes care of the media cell. Siddarth Singh has moved to Rajkot to woo the Patels in Saurashtra.
Meanwhile, the trinity comprising Jaitley, Sushil Pandit and Parindu Bhagat aka Kaku Bhai's son Maulik Bhagat supervises the publicity and advertisement campaigns. Maulik was the brain behind Modi's 3D campaign. Power minister Saurabh Patel is tasked with Modi's political management.
Despite the back-breaking schedule, tech-savy Modi's micro-bloging site is constantly updated by his key confidantes after he returns from campaigning near midnight.
The unit has so far successfully managed the BJP’s campaign in the state. With their resounding success marked by key political acumen, it is widely expected that the strategists will lay the roadmap for Modi’s much talked about plan for 2014.