In a show of strength in Maharashtra for the third and final phase of elections in the state on April 24, the Shiv Sena-BJP and Congress-NCP combine are leaving no stone unturned to draw huge crowd at their rallies.
A whopping amount of money is being spent to organise rallies, which would be addressed by stalwarts of the respective parties. For the April 20 rally organised by the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC), which will be addressed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other leaders from the state, the party has spent over Rs 30 lakh for the event at Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) ground, according to sources.
The city Congress unit has spent Rs 30,63,853, including Rs 22,97,890 as security deposit and Rs 3,78,692 as service tax, for the mega-rally, which will also see participation of alliance partners Nationalist Congress Party and People's Republican Party, headed by Prof Jogendra Kawade, they said. "It is going to be a massive rally.
We have done massive preparations for it. We are expecting a huge turnout. A meeting in this regard was held with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and other senior party leaders," MRCC chief Janardhan Chandurkar said. The party unit has asked every MLA from the city and suburbs to ensure a crowd of about 5,000 with them.
"We have around 20 MLAs and MLCs who have been entrusted the task," Chandurkar said. Similarly, the Shiv Sena-BJP combine has also spent about Rs 34 lakhs for their joint rally, which will be addressed by BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on April 21, sources said. Mumbai is crucial for the Congress, which had won five out of the six Lok Sabha seats in 2009. The sixth seat was bagged by its alliance partner NCP.