Bangalore, Nov 17, 2013, DHNS: The stage is set for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s ‘Bharata Gellisi’ (make India victorious) rally at the Palace Grounds here on Sunday, with the State party leaders hoping that “Modi magic” would boost their prospects in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But the party’s spirit dampened a bit on Saturday, thanks to the rains.
Modi is expected to land at HAL airport in Bangalore, and is scheduled to reach the venue by helicopter at 11 am or 11.30 am, along with BJP national president Rajnath Singh, BJP general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Thawar Chand Gehlot and BJP youth wing president Anurag Thakur and others. He is expected to address the gathering for about an hour. It is Modi’s first public rally in Karnataka after the BJP nominated him its prime ministerial candidate.
If it rains, he may have to reach the venue by road. There is no rally planned to take him to the venue from the airport. A helipad is ready at the Palace Grounds.
He is scheduled to leave Bangalore before 2 pm. The State BJP, whose first government in the south crumbled after the May Assembly polls in the State paving the way for Congress’ return to power, is looking for good tidings in its favour in the parliamentary elections. The leaders are hoping to cash in on ‘brand Modi’ to shore up the dented image.
The leaders have, therefore, put up a united effort in making arrangements for the rally. Party’s senior leaders, including former chief ministers D V Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar, State party chief Pralhad Joshi, party national general secretary H N Ananth Kumar, K S Eshwarappa, R Ashoka and Govind Karjol, will share the dais with Modi.
The Palace Grounds has become a virtual fortress in the aftermath of the serial bomb blasts rocking Modi’s Hunkar rally in Bihar recently. The police do not want to take chances in the wake of the Bihar police recently arresting Ayesha Bano near Mangalore in connection with the Patna blast.
As many as 5,000 police personnel have been deployed at the venue. Besides, a large number of police personnel will be in mufti in and around the venue. About 80 CCTVs have been fixed at strategic places. The police took control of the venue 15 days ago for security reasons.
3.5 lakh expected
The BJP is claiming that about three lakh people would attend the rally from across the State. It has booked about nine special trains, 2,500 buses and an equal number of four-wheelers to ferry people to the rally from various parts of the State. As many as 3.5 lakh people are said to have registered for the rally paying Rs 10 each. In additin to a traffic management plan drawn up by the Bangalore police, the BJP will deploy 5,000 volunteers to ensure smooth vehicular movement.
People will be allowed to enter the Palace Grounds after 9 am and there are eight entry gates to the venue. Arrangements have been made to provide food to all those who attend the rally.