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Will Modi's Patna Roadshow Bring The Votes?

May 13, 2024 08:04 IST
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Clad in a yellow kurta with a saffron gamcha around his neck, atop an open saffron coloured vehicle, he was greeted by loud chants of "Modi! Modi! Modi Zindabad! 400 Paar Is Baar" all along the roadshow's route.
M I Khan reports.

IMAGE: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra D Modi with Janata Dal-United President Nitish Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad, the BJP candidate for the Patna Saheb Lok Sabha seat, at a roadshow in Patna, May 12, 2024, here and below. All photographs: ANI Photo

Large crowds of enthusiastic people of all ages turned up on both sides of Narendra D Modi's roadshow in Patna on Sunday, May 12, evening.

Modi began his road show from Patna's Bhattacharya Road following the chanting of mantras and blowing the conch shell.

Clad in a yellow kurta with a saffron gamcha around his neck, atop an open saffron coloured vehicle, specially designed as a rath for the roadshow, he was greeted by loud chants of "Modi! Modi! Modi Zindabad! 400 Paar Is Baar" all along the roadshow's route.

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, workers and supporters rained flowers on Modi's vehicle all along the route.


Alongside Modi on the vehicle were Nitish Kumar, the Janata Dal-United president and the BJP's electoral ally in Bihar, and Ravi Shankar Prasad, the BJP candidate from Patna Saheb.

Saffron was the dominant colour all along the route with saffron flags, posters and banners leading the way.

At a few places, burqa-clad Muslim women were seen welcoming Modi.

The Modi road show passed through Patna's residential cum market localities of Kadamkuan, Sahitya Sammelan, Thakurbari Road, Bakarganj and ended at Udyog Bhawan at Gandhi Maidan.


Hours ahead of the road show, Patna residents this reporter spoke to, appeared divided over its impact on the ongoing election campaign.

For most Modi's roadshow in Patna was a matter of pride and an opportunity to glimpse their favourite leader. Others felt Modi was forced to hold a roadshow in Patna after realising that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was unlikely to repeat its 2019 performance in Bihar, when it won 39 seats.

Modi has visited Bihar four times so far this election cycle and addressed seven election meetings in different parliamentary constituencies.

"Party leaders have arranged 5 tons of roses and marigolds to welcome Modiji during the roadshow," a BJP leader said before the event began. "Flowers will be showered over Modiji's vehicle during the road show by party leaders, workers and supporters."

The roadshow's route was changed due to security reasons; earlier, it was to have started from Dak Bungalow Chouraha, but was moved to Bhattacharya Road.

Commandos from central security forces were deployed across the length of the roadshow route since Sunday morning.

"It is a matter of pride for us that we will have a glimpse of the country's most popular leader," Manish Kumar Singh said before the roadshow, adding, "I along with my family will stand on the route to welcome him and express support to him in the elections."

"My entire family will go there to watch him and raise hands in his support," said Kaushal Kishor. "Modi is the best, we will vote in his name. NDA candidates hardly matter to us. Modi's face is a big factor."

"Modi's road show will impact the election and benefit the BJP," said Ajay Rai, who was hoping to touch Modi's feet. "I like Modi and will vote for the BJP candidate keeping Modi;s face in mind," Rai added.

IMAGE: All set to welcome Modi. Photograph: M I Khan

"Modi's roadshow is a political stunt nothing more," Balik Sharma, an elderly resident of Patna, insisted, "The NDA is in trouble in the elections. Modi's old Hindu-Muslim trick has not clicked so far and he is desperate to consolidate his vote."

"Youth are jobless, the middle class and the poor are facing the brunt of price rise," said Gunjan Yadav, a young voter. "Modi will hardly get any benefit of the roadshow because people are fed up of his false promises."

Modi's visits to Bihar, added Yadav, indicates that "Bihar se Modi dar gaya hai (Modi is frightened of the election outcome in Bihar)."

"The roadshow is not going to help him in elections this time. Modi has disappointed youth," said Santosh Kumar, who introduced himself as a "berojgar" (unemployed).

"The youth are disappointed with Modi because nothing has happened about the 2 crore jobs he promised us. It has been proved to be a jumla."

"The mood among the people have changed, it is visible on the streets in Patna, a stronghold of the BJP for decades," observed social activist Satyanarayan Madan.

Arvind Kumar asserted that the NDA tally in Bihar will come down from 39 in 2019 to 20 this election. "It is not confined to Bihar, Modi's magic has gone. He is no more a credible face," added Arvind Kumar.

IMAGE: A slogan displaying 'Har Dil Main Modi' in Patna. Photograph: Rahul Singh/ANI Photo

Patna has two Lok Sabha seats: Patliputra and Patna Saheb, both won by the BJP in the 2014 and 2019 elections.

Ram Kirpal Yadav, the sitting BJP MP from Patliputra, hopes to achieve a hat-trick by defeating Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate Dr Misa Bharti a third time.

Patna Saheb's incumbent BJP MP is Ravi Shankar Prasad.

After staying in Patna overnight after the roadshow, Modi will address election meetings on May 13 in three Lok Sabha constituencies: Hajipur, Vaishali and Saran.

Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/

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M I KHAN in Patna