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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Lucknow/Mumbai, October 20, 2013
The day Narendra Modi addressed his opening rally in Uttar Pradesh, the ruling Samajwadi Party berated the “sponsored crowds” at the Vijay Shankhnaad rally of the BJP’s “second PM-in-waiting”. The obvious reference was to party veteran LK Advani’s earlier bid to be declared the PM candidate.

In Mumbai, the Gujarat CM’s Bihar counterpart and bête noire Nitish Kumar declared that the (Modi) bubble would burst soon.

“The country can progress only by taking everyone along... Not by leaving out someone but by binding everyone,” said Kumar.

Kumar’s party JD(U) had pulled out of the NDA following Modi’s elevation as BJP’s election campaign committee chief.

The SP called Modi’s Kanpur rally a farce. “It seems that the RSS, the VHP and BJP are transporting sponsored crowds for Modi’s rallies. The state’s farmers, labourers, poor and common people were absent from the rally,” said SP spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhary in Lucknow.