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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

BJP game for cricket to garner support for Modi

Ravinder Vasudeva , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, January 14, 2014
First Published: 22:45 IST(14/1/2014) | Last Updated: 00:17 IST(15/1/2014)

To garner support of the youth for its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken the route of a T-20 cricket league.

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The youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) has decided to organise a national-level cricket tournament to make NaMo more popular among the youth of the country.

Named as 'Narendra Ko Naman', the tournament is a brainchild of the national executive of the youth wing under the programme 'Khelega Yuva-Jeetega Bharat'.

In many districts of Punjab, the tournament has already started from January 12 on the occasion of the National Youth Day. The tournament kicked off in Jalandhar on Tuesday and was inaugurated by chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari.

"In the state, the tournament has started in all the 25 districts as per the BJP's organisational structure. Dedicated to our prime ministerial candidate, it's an open entry tournament where any team can participate by depositing an entry fee of `500. A maximum of 16 teams can be fielded in one district," state president of the BJYM Mohit Gupta told Hindustan Times.

All district units of the BJP's youth wing have been given the responsibility of organising these matches and they have decided the prize money accordingly. For the state winner, the prize money has been pegged at `51,000 and the final will be played in Patiala.

Though the BJYM claims that the cricket league is an effort to promote the game of cricket, its aim is to attract the youth and involve them in the 'NaMo for PM' campaign.

On the ground, the youth wing is also distributing pamphlets and other literary material relating to NaMo and the BJP.

The national-level final match of the league will be played in the last week of March at Dharamshala cricket stadium of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), whose president is Anurag Thakur, member of Parliament from Hamirpur and national president of the BJYM.

The Punjab Youth Congress president, Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary has termed this tournament a mere 'drama'.
"The BJP and Modi do not have any vision for the youth of the country that is why they are indulging in such gimmicks. The party is baffled by the expected projection of Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress," he said.

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