PM Modi cautions BJP against negative campaign in assembly polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cautioned the BJP against a negative campaign in the upcoming assembly elections, party leaders familiar with the development said.

At the meeting of the party’s central Election committee on Thursday night, where a discussion on candidates for the first phase of polling in West Bengal and Assam was discussed, Modi empahsised on the need to ensure that the narrative in the poll-bound states is not vitiated.

The PM who also interacted with the state functionaries from West Bengal and Assam seeking their feedback on the sentiments on the ground, is learnt to have said that abusive language should not be used even if the opposition chooses to use unparliamentary language.

While the BJP is gearing to fight a pitched battle against the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, it is pulling out all the stops to ensure a massive mandate to retain power in Assam.

“The party is not only aiming to retain Assam, but to improve the seats tally from the previous election,” a BJP functionary said.

The BJP had come to power in Assam for the first time in 2016, winning 60 of the 126 assembly seats. For the upcoming election the party will contest 92 seats while its allies the AGP will contest 26 and UPPL will contest 8 seats.

The party on Friday announced the first list of 70 names for the Assam election and is likely to announce soon the candidates for the first phase of the election in West Bengal. All eyes are on whether former TMC strongman Suvendu Adhikari who crossed over to the BJP in December will contest against his former boss Mamata Banerjee from the Nandigram seat.

“The party will announce whether sitting MPs will contest any of the seats. Union minister Babul Supriyo for instance has shown interest in contesting against the CM from Bhowanipore,” said a second person aware of the details.

But on Friday, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said she will contest from Nandigram and vacate the Bhowanipore seat in favour of power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.

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