Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at the Rama Bai Ambedkar Maidan on Monday could break previous records of a crowd at a political rally. By noon, nearly two lakh people had already gathered inside the ground.
Over 50,000 supporters were walking on the road from Qila crossing to the venue with a beeline of vans, cars and two-wheelers. This could be the biggest performance by the BJP in the recent times, said workers.
Till now, it had only been BSP chief Mayawati who had addressed a jam packed audience in the ground that can hold 4.5 lakh people.
People from all walks of life deemed headed for the rally ground. Men, women had placards in hands written “Ghar Ghar Modi” a slogan coined in 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the BJP won on 71 out of the 80 parliament seats. That was BJP’s best ever performance in Uttar Pradesh.
“This will be BJP’s best ever show in the state that will lead to its massive victory in the forthcoming assembly polls,” said Ramesh Kumar a VHP supporter from Bahraich who came with hundreds others from the same district.
Inside the rally ground and on the roads nearby are awash with the colour saffron. “Believe me BJP will make a comeback in Uttar Pradesh. This is for sure,” said Rajni a teacher who walked two km to the rally ground from her home to listen to Modi.
For Sunder Singh, an Unnao resident and a ration shop owner this was a second chance to listen to Modi live. Last time PM was in the city on Dusserah (October 11, 2016) and that was his first public address after India’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Kashmir. The PM had then hit out at terrorism and its supporters.
“I hope he (Modi) wins in Uttar Pradesh,” said Sunder.
Asked if he faced any trouble with demonetisation the ration shop owner said, “Yes initially but now things are normal.”
This will be PM’s first public rally in Lucknow after the demonetisation exercise and party supporters are second guessing what he would say. “Modiji has clarified on demonetisation in his address on TV. Now he would say what he plans next,” said Rajni, a voter from Mohanlalganj parliamentary constituency where the rally ground is located.
As time for the rally neared more buses came and roads almost became jam packed with passengers in winter clothes slowly walking towards the ground. Over 12000 buses and an even bigger number of vans and cars were deployed to ferry people to the rally ground from nearly two-dozen districts of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.