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Mumbai will take Modi back to his roots

By Sanjay Jog
December 16, 2013 11:01 IST
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Mega rally on December 22 to have special enclosure for 10,000 tea vendors, says Sanjay Jog.

Narendra Modi loves to make a statement. That quality will be more than evident when he rises to make a speech at his ‘Maha Garjana’ (mega-roar) rally in Mumbai on December 22. The organisers of the rally, to celebrate the Bharatiya Janata Party’s sterling performance in four assembly elections, have decided to give a pride of place to 10,000 tea vendors, who will pay a special tribute to a man who was one of theirs many summers ago.

After all, Modi takes great pride in telling all and sundry that he was a tea vendor during his childhood. And, the Mumbai BJP doesn’t want to lose an opportunity to tell the world that their star campaigner hasn’t lost touch with his roots. The party’s general secretary for Maharashtra, Atul Bhatkhalkar, said: “This will be a fitting reply to the Congress and the Samajwadi Party -- a tea vendor can become India’s prime minister.”

Rubbing shoulders with the tea vendors in the audience will be all of Mumbai’s high and mighty, including invitees like industrialists Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Rahul Bajaj, Anand Mahindra and Ajay & Swati Piramal, apart from other professionals and academicians. Many consul-generals have also been invited for the public meeting.

The Mumbai BJP has also launched a registration drive on the internet to allow members of the public to attend the rally. The list of special guests include BJP chief ministers Raman Singh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje, besides Shiromani Akali Dal chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. BJP’s electoral ally, Shiv Sena, and the Republican Party will also be represented by their top leaders.

According to Bhatkhalkar, the party is in the midst of mobilising Rs 25 crore from all sections of the society and give it to Modi.

“The idea is to use the money for election campaigning. The party has published coupons of Rs 100, Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 and is approaching all sections,” he said.

Also, various BJP factions have joined hands, while the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is working from behind the stage for a huge turnout at the rally.

Bhatkhalkar said the rally would resolve to make India Congress-free. BJP has also asked booth-level committees to bring workers from all the six Lok Sabha and 36 assembly constituencies of Greater Mumbai.

Image: Narendra Modi: Photograph: Rajesh Karkera/

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Sanjay Jog in Mumbai
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