The Ruling Peoples Democratic Party workers, migrant labourers and casual employees of Jammu and Kashmir government today appeared to form the bulk of the audience for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's public rally in Srinagar.
A significant number of labourers, hailing from Bihar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, were seen in Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium at Sonawar among the audience for the PM's rally.
"I have been brought here forcibly from my rented room in Rambagh (area of the city)," Manoj Kumar, a labourer from Bihar, said.
He said it has caused him a loss of Rs 400 which he would have earned at work.
Rakesh Kumar, a carpenter from Gorakhpur area, said he was brought to the venue of the rally while he was heading to work in Sanat Nagar locality of the city. As the presence of migrant labourers drew attention of media, PDP workers shoved them to the back rows in the stadium.
The PDP workers indulged in intense sloganeering hailing Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and party president Mehbooba Mufti.
A vehicle coming from Verinag area of south Kashmir towards the rally venue, turned turtle at Bijbehara causing injuries to five persons, the police said. They also said some vehicles carrying people to the rally came under stone-pelting at Narbal on Srinagar- Baramulla highway.
The PDP members of Legislative Assembly who have brought the workers to the rally included Syed Altaf Bukhari, Abdul Haq Khan, Mohammad Abbas Wani and Imran Reza Ansari.
Among the audience in the rally were Special Police Officers of the state police, daily-wage workers and Anganwadi workers.
"We have been promised regularisation. That is why I have come to attend the rally," Abdul Hameed, who claimed to be working as SPO in north Kashmir, said.
Anganwadi workers had similar stories to tell, but refused to reveal their names. Former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah yesterday alleged that the state government has issued instructions to its employees including police personnel and daily-rated workers to attend the prime minister’s rally.
“Colleagues tell me that their JK police guard has been drastically scaled down & the personnel ordered to participate in the 7th Nov rally (of the prime minister)," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
He also claimed that similar instructions were issued to SPOs, Anganwari workers and daily wagers as PDP workers are reluctant to attend Modi's rally.
"Similar instructions given to SPOs, Anganwari workers & daily wagers to make up the numbers for PM's rally because PDP workers reluctant," Omar said. "How else will they make up the numbers & produce a gathering for the cameras & channels?" he added.