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Lok Sabha Poll Campaign Gulf: Modi's 165+ Rallies Outpace Gandhi's 60

As the Lok Sabha elections heat up, a significant disparity has emerged in the campaign efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. By the end of May 20, Modi will have completed over 165 public rallies and roadshows, with projections suggesting he may approach 200 events by the end of the […]

As the Lok Sabha elections heat up, a significant disparity has emerged in the campaign efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. By the end of May 20, Modi will have completed over 165 public rallies and roadshows, with projections suggesting he may approach 200 events by the end of the month. In stark contrast, Rahul Gandhi has held around 60 public rallies, significantly fewer than Modi.

Modi’s campaign has been marked by a relentless pace, with the Prime Minister often participating in two to three events daily, and on some days, as many as four to five. Gandhi, on the other hand, has typically held one to two events on his campaign days.

Bolstering the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign efforts, Home Minister Amit Shah has conducted over 100 campaign events, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has completed 150 events by Sunday.

BJP leaders emphasize the impact of Modi’s rallies, claiming that any appearance by the Prime Minister significantly boosts the party’s chances in both strong and challenging seats. “There is a huge demand for PM rallies from all our candidates. The aim is to cover maximum ground, and the PM has devoted the maximum time in these Lok Sabha elections,” a senior BJP leader told News18.

The BJP’s campaign has also been amplified by a robust digital strategy, with Modi’s rallies and roadshows resonating widely through social media. Modi has conducted more roadshows this year compared to 2019, extending his campaign reach even after sunset. Additionally, the Prime Minister has given close to 50 media interviews this election season, while Rahul Gandhi has given just one, to Network 18.

A senior Congress leader acknowledged the disparity in campaign resources between the two parties, citing financial constraints and Income Tax scrutiny on Congress funds. “This is truly the first digital election with the most effective campaign happening over social media channels. One can see the absence of physical posters and hoardings too this time. The Congress is up in the game on social media and is getting lots of traction there…Rahul Gandhi has done two big Yatras across the country,” the leader said.

The Congress has sought to innovate with impromptu video messages from Rahul Gandhi aimed at young voters. Priyanka Gandhi has focused her campaign efforts on Amethi, while Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has participated in some rallies and press conferences.

Despite these efforts, the BJP’s campaign, led by Modi and Shah, remains unmatched in scale. A senior BJP leader questioned Gandhi’s viability as a serious challenger, given the significantly lower number of campaign events. “Any serious challenger to a two-time incumbent would aim to outdo the PM in the campaign, but the rigour was missing,” the leader noted.

As the campaign enters its final phase, Modi’s pace has only increased, with four rallies on Sunday and four rallies and a roadshow scheduled for Monday across three states. The question remains: will the gap in campaign intensity between Modi and Gandhi be reflected in the election results

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Gandhi's 60Lok Sabha Poll Campaign GulfPrime Minister Narendra ModiRahul GandhiTDGThe guardian