On a day when senior leader Jaswant Singh defied the leadership and filed his nomination papers from Barmer in Rajasthan as an Independent, the Bharatiya Janata Party was forced to deny rumours of internal divisions set off by party president Rajnath Singh’s tweets.
On Monday, Mr. Singh tweeted a poster of himself with the slogan ‘Time for change, time for BJP’, which was different from the official slogan ‘Ab ki bar, Modi sarkar (this time Modi Government).’
The tweet was followed by another: “Bahut Hui Mehngai ki maar, abki baar Modi sarkar [enough of inflation, this time Modi government],” but by then the party was already on the defensive, ruling out a rift at the top.
Parrying questions on whether the BJP has changed its slogan to a more generic “Ab ki baar BJP sarkar,” spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it had been using both slogans and Mr. Singh’s tweet did not reflect a change in the party’s position.
The spokesperson said the leadership, including patriarch L.K. Advani, would address more than 300 rallies in as many Lok Sabha constituencies starting Wednesday.
Mr. Modi will kick-start the campaign with three rallies on Wednesday, the first being in Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir. He will also address 185 ‘Bharat Vijay’ rallies across 295 constituencies.