At massive rally in state capital, Modi makes a point to Mulayam – on crowd, and development
Trithesh Nandan | March 2, 2014
In his late twenties, Bhagwan Das came all the way from Lalitpur to Lucknow on a Sunday, as did Nitya Gopal and Ashok Awasthi, both residents of Fatehpur. The trio, in fact, was not unlike hundreds – indeed thousands – of others who came to the state capital. Ramabai Ambedkar stadium on the outskirts of Lucknow, to be precise, where BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi held his ‘Vijay Sankhnad’ rally – his eighth in Uttar Pradesh.
Like Das, Gopal and Awasthi, there were many who came from nearby cities like Hardoi, Amethi, Rae Bareli, Sultanpuri, Unnao, Fatehpur, Lalitpur to be part of the rally, which, for the party’s local unit, was a prestige issue of sorts on a day Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, along with CM Akhilesh Yadav and the whole party brass, addressed a rally in Allahabad and Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal held a roadshow barely a couple of hours away in Kanpur.
And on that front, the BJP's crowd management scored a huge six.
While people from nearby cities and towns filled the stadium, locals were seemingly aloof, showing little interest. People streamed in for the show of strength as buses, cars, jeeps, SUVs and other vehicles lined up both sides of highway, and some came in trains from as far as Gorakhpur. If anything can be read in that enthusiasm, it is the unmistakable hope pinned on Modi.
Take Bhagwan Das, for instance. Illiterate and without a job, he came to the rally (having been asked to do so by “elders” in his village) wearing a Modi cap, and expecting miracles of the man the BJP believes would be India’s next PM. “I see hope in him (Modi). He can bring in change and remove unemployment,” Das said.
Ashok Awasthi, too, echoed the sentiment.
On the dais, Modi was deliberately late so that he could answer Mulayam Singh Yadav’s jibes. The Samajwadi Party supremo was addressing his Allahabad rally shortly before Modi’s speech and attacked the Gujarat chief minister on his purported role in the 2002 riots.
In his reply, Modi took on Yadav on the development plank: “Gujarat gets 24-hour electricity for 365 days a year. In UP, there is reservation in distribution of electricity – areas of Netaji (Yadav) get regular supply, while other places do not get power.”
Modi also hit out at the SP government on the issue of communal violence. “In the past one year of your son’s (Akhilesh’s) rule, more than 150 riots have taken place in UP, while there was not a single riot in Gujarat in the last 10 years. Not even curfew was clamped at any place,” he said, so “don’t compare Gujarat with UP on development.”
In a lighter vein, typical of the way Modi works up the crowd, he added: “I have been talking about politics of development for past 10 years and I am happy that he (Mulayam) has also started talking about it.”
Alleging that nothing concrete was done to ensure development in UP, Modi said even traditional industries were not promoted and, as a result, turned sick.
Mulayam earlier criticised Modi on the number of people in the rally, saying, "You should compete on the basis of development rather than the crowds."
In reply, Modi said, “Netaji (Mulayam) has conceded defeat in his address...by saying that he cannot compete with the crowd at my rally…. By talking about development, Yadav has been forced (by BJP) to leave his old ways and come to this topic.”
BJP is all set to retain Gujarat, indicated one exit poll. Another exit poll, however, showed a tough fight in at least one region. Aaj Tak exit poll showed that BJP will win 99 – 113 seats, getting a majority in the 182 member assembly. The Congress will get 68 – 82 seats, falli
Goa shipyard Limited (GSL) has delivered the second fuel barge to Indian Navy on December 2, 33 days ahead of contractual delivery schedule, and recently got inducted into the Navy. Navy was in the need of self-propelled 1000Ton fuel barges, with a view to fuel big ships like INS Vikramadity
Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre has assured Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) that work load for its Nashik unit will continue to flow even after Su-MKI manufacturing and production activities conclude in the next few years. “HAL has the world class facilities and giv
Naval submarine INS Kalvari was dedicated to the nation by prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in Mumbai. INS Kalvari is a diesel-electric attack submarine built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd for the Indian Navy. As per the plan, five more such submarines would be inducted into
People queued up since early morning to cast their ballot to decide the political fate of 851 candidates in the second and final phase of the bitterly fought Gujarat assembly elections. The votes in all the 182 seats will be counted on December 18. Over 22 million people are eligible to cast
Had the situation not been so desperate, then the AAP government’s proposal to sprinkle water from helicopters would have been considered hare-brained. But, a more practical solution to tackling air pollution may well be around the corner and it lies in the success of a pilot project in Iceland.