PM Modi will begin a new phase of campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in three states on thursday !

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin a new phase of campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

The highlight of the day will be a massive rally at Meerut, aimed at garnering public support for the BJP in eight seats across western Uttar Pradesh that will go to the polls in the first phase of the elections on April 11. Despite his party’s gains in the previous Lok Sabha elections and the state assembly polls that followed, it is expected to face a tough challenge from the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance this time round.

BJP chief Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are already making the rounds of the region to galvanise supporters. Mr Adityanath visited a temple in Mathura along with local parliamentarian Hema Malini on Monday, following which she filed her nomination papers. The veteran actor-turned-politician is contesting from Mathura for the second time.

PM Modi will also headline an electoral event in Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur on Thursday. He had addressed a rally in the same town through mobile phone on February 14, launching schemes worth Rs. 3,400 crore to boost the state’s cooperative sector.

On Friday too, PM Modi will have a packed schedule with three rallies in Odisha’s Koraput, Telangana’sMahboob Nagar and Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool.

The BJP had swept all the five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand in the 2014 elections.

The Prime Minister will then visit Jammu and Kashmir for a rally in Akhnoor the same day. Security arrangements in the town are being enhanced in view of his visit.

The BJP has repeated sitting parliamentarian Jugal Kishore Sharma from the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat, which will go to the polls on April 11. Mr Sharma was elected by a victory margin of 2.26 lakh votes in the 2014 polls.

PM Modi had last visited the state on February 3, during which he inaugurated or laid foundation stones for various project worth Rs. 7,000 crore. He is scheduled to visit Jammu region again in the second week of April for a rally in Kathua.

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