Crowd a ‘maya’ in Gujarat
The Bahujan Samaj Party’s much publicized ‘maha sammelan’ at the Polo Grounds, here, on Sunday afternoon turned out to be a damp squib with an attendance of just a few thousands.india Updated: Sep 17, 2007 03:59 IST
The Bahujan Samaj Party’s much publicized ‘maha sammelan’ at the Polo Grounds, here, on Sunday afternoon turned out to be a damp squib with an attendance of just a few thousands.
To the critics, the Polo Grounds was half-empty while the BSP organisers thought it to be half full.
Since the historic Polo Grounds here has seen packed audiences during rallies of Indira Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Sonia Gandhi, a comparison of the crowd size seemed inevitable.
But, considering that the BSP still does not have any representation in the state assembly, the party managers did make their presence felt in the city, which remains a citadel of the saffron forces for more than a decade. A party organiser explained away the thin attendance by saying that it was not meant to be a public rally but only a meeting of BSP workers in preparation of the forthcoming elections.
BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayavati arrived nearly two hours behind schedule and delivered an hour-long speech and repeated the claims of her government’s achievements for the weaker sections of society.
However, Mayavati reiterated that the BSP was not against the upper caste. Former BJP minister Nalin Bhatt, who had quit the BJP last year following his tiff with Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was present at the function.