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Modi captivates students at fest

He entered the stadium amid cheers and left as the crowd applauded enthusiastically. BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's appearance at Manthan - a student fest- saw thousands of excited students waiting anxiously to hear him. Mallica Joshi reports.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2013 23:26 IST
Mallica Joshi

He entered the stadium amid cheers and left as the crowd applauded enthusiastically. BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's appearance at Manthan - a fest where students from across the country presented their plans to solve the nation's problems and set the agenda for the general elections - saw thousands of excited students waiting anxiously to hear him.

Modi was invited as the key speaker after 84% of the 16,000 participants voted for him.

"People need change and he has promised a positive one. Rahul Gandhi does not seem a very promising candidate," said Sunil Henry Roger, a participant from IIT Madras.

A small number of students, however, did not seem too enthused. "Almost all the speakers were in some way associated with the BJP. Only Abhishek Manu Singhvi was present as a token representation from the Congress," said Nirjhar Mujherjee, a student at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Citizens of Accountable governance, the event organisers, said they had extended invitations to leaders from various political parties such as Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury. "We got a positive response only from the BJP," said a spokerperson for Manthan.

The support for Modi, however, was overwhelming. "I came to Delhi because I wanted to hear Modi speak. The aspect of Hindutva is a little discomfiting but I support him," said Reena Jagtap, an MBA student at Symbiosis International University, Pune.

"The UPA has been in power for too long and we are looking for a change. He is the best candidate and has given a prototype of development in the form of Gujarat," said Pankaj Kumar, who hails from Himachal Pradesh.