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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Modi-Naidu rally gets star power from Pawan Kalyan

Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 23, 2014
First Published: 11:44 IST(23/4/2014) | Last Updated: 12:08 IST(23/4/2014)

It was at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Delhi in August last year that BJP leader Narendra Modi addressed a party rally and gave a call to the Telugu Desam Party to join forces to oust the Congress from power.

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Nine months later, on Tuesday, Modi addressed an NDA rally from the same venue with Nara Chandrababu Naidu, whose TDP is now part of the alliance in Telangana and Seemandhra.

The combine had a bonus addition in the form of Telugu superstar-turned- politician Pawan Kalyan, who extended his support to the BJP and TDP with a slogan they must have approved of: Congress hatao, desh bachao.

Buoyed by the reinforcement since when he was scouting for partners across the country the last time he was here, Modi told the audience that these elections would prove political pundits wrong.

“This election is not about arithmetic but about the public’s chemistry of the heart. Pawan, me and Babu might add to three for political analysts but by coming together we’ve gained the strength of 111,” Modi said to a cheering crowd of about 50,000 people waving saffron flags of the BJP, yellow flags of the TDP and white flags of the Janasena.

“PM means Power of Modi,” was the message on a sheet of paper held up by a supporter.

Modi and Naidu — Pawan’s party is not contesting this time — have set their eyes on the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the two regions — Telangana and Seemandhra — going to the polls together for the last time.

Though delayed to the last minute and troubled over the selection of candidates, the TDP’s entry into the NDA is the biggest boost for the saffron party in the south, where it is keen to bag a large number of seats to achieve its Mission 272+ in the Lok Sabha.

“Modi and I will be a winning combination. For the sake of growth in the two states (after division of Andhra Pradesh) it a necessity for the NDA to come to power and I have no doubt — 1,000% — that Modi will be PM,” said Naidu, who wants to be chief minister of Seemandhra.


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