Now, PM Modi’s turn to display his ‘swabhiman’ in Bihar

  • Arun Kumar and Avijit Biswas, Hindustan Times, Patna/Bhagalpur
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2015 17:54 IST
The main focus during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates would be on getting investment and improving diaspora ties. (AFP Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have his chance to hit back at the leaders of the anti-BJP alliance when he takes the stage in Bhagalpur on Tuesday for what will be his last rally before Bihar assembly poll dates announcement.

The BJP is preparing big time for the September 1 public meeting at the airport ground in Bhagalpur. Party leaders expect the PM to come up with an aggressive response to charges hurled at him during the ‘swabhiman’ rally of the ‘grand alliance’ parties.

“We are sure the PM will respond with interest to the vicious attack on him during the Sunday’s rally by top leaders of the RJD, JD(U) and the Congress,” said a top BJP leader closely monitoring Bhagalpur rally preparations.

Tuesday’s rally is important for, in all likelihood, it will be the PM’s last electoral appearance in Bihar before the election commission’s model code of conduct for the assembly polls comes into force.

The NDA leaders will have a lot of answers and counter attacks to nullify whatever advantage its rivals could claim.

The Bhagalpur rally means a lot for the BJP as eight out of total nine Lok Sabha seats it lost in Bihar during the May 2014 poll — Madhepura, Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Bhagalpur and Banka — were in Kosi, Purnia and Bhagalpur divisions.

For mer Union minister Shahnawaz Hussain, convener of the Bhagalpur rally, said: “The Swabhiman Rally in Patna will pale in comparison that the size of crowd the world will witness at the PM’s Bhagalpur rally.”

“We will have a bigger crowd from eight Lok Sabha constituencies of north eastern Bihar at Bhagalpur than the cumulative response from all 40 Lok Sabha constituencies to Sunday’s rally in Patna,” said Hussain, who lost in Bhagalpur last year.

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the PM had unrivalled popular appeal as a pro- development man with a commitment to deliver upon the Rs 1.25 lakh crore special package he had announced for Bihar.

“Time-bound implementation of the package is important now and this will require a compatible (BJP-led) government in the state, not the forever cribbing one,” Modi stated.

Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy described Sunday’s rally in Patna as ‘state sponsored’. He said the PM’s rally at Bhagalpur would easily surpass it by way of crowd turnout.

“The big attendance at PM’s rally will exhibit the popular mood for a change of government in Bihar,” said BJP leader and MP Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

Rudy followed in the footsteps of Hussain and Choubey to lead a road show by BJP workers ahead of the rally.

Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been made for the PM’s rally in Bhagalpur. SPG personnel have taken charge of the meeting venue spread over 240 acres. The security arrangement at the venue was described as ‘fool proof ’.

More than 3,000 police personnel, including 30 DSP-rank officers, have been pressed into service for the event, A special traffic plan has been worked out for the rally, taking into account that people from adjoining districts will also attend it.

While as Prime Minister this will Modi’s first visit to Bhagalpur, he was here last year to campaign for the LS poll. decided that no statement on the issue would be made by various leaders and only authorised persons would speak.

RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, who is also a Union minister, said the alliance would speak in one voice and their foremost priority was a big victory.

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