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Modi, Sonia to kick-start Kerala campaign trail in May

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi will be among a battery of top national leaders, who will hit the campaign trail in Kerala to woo voters for the May 16 Assembly elections.

While sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the exact date of Modi’s visit to the state has not been finalised yet in wake of the Parliament session, starting Monday. 

Sonia Gandhi will address rallies in Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur on May 9. A hectic schedule has also been drawn up for Rahul Gandhi, who will be in the state on May 12. Rahul will criss-cross four districts in a helicopter to address conventions at Kayamkulam, Angamally, Udumbanchola and Kozhikode, Congress sources said.

BJP, which has launched a do-or-die battle this time to open its account in the state Assembly, will see its national president Amit Shah, along with Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani, addressing several meetings.

The saffron party has forged an alliance with the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a party launched by the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam – an organisation of backward Ezhava community.

BJP-led NDA alliance is putting up a triangular fight in most of the 140 Assembly constituencies in Kerala, which hitherto had witnessed a bi-polar contest between the ruling Congress-led UDF and Opposition CPI(M)-led LDF.

Kerala CM Oommen Chandy , who is the Congress-UDF candidate from Puthupally in Kottayam district, will also be addressing 14 rallies in all 14 districts of the state, starting from Kasaragod on April 26.
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