After low turnout at Mahalaxmi, BJP goes all out to get crowds for Modi's October 9 Ghatkopar rally

The party’s Mumbai unit, which had faced flak from the state unit because of the relatively sparse attendance, is pulling out all stops to make the rally at the Somaiya College ground a success on Thursday

Having been castigated by the state unit over the ‘low’ turnout for Narendra Modi’s rally at Mahalaxmi Racecourse on Saturday, the city unit of the BJP is pulling out all stops to ensure that the Prime Minister’s next rally in Mumbai at Somaiya College ground in Ghatkopar on Thursday draws huge crowds.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse on Saturday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse on Saturday

“After the rally at Mahalaxmi Racecourse, the state unit got a chance to take a dig at us. All our efforts were washed away because of a few empty chairs. But, we have taken all possible precautions this time, and the ground will be packed,” said a Mumbai unit leader.

mid-day’s report yesterday on the turnout at Modi’s Saturday rally. File pics

mid-day’s report yesterday on the turnout at Modi’s Saturday rally. File pics

While a diktat has been issued, asking all city BJP leaders to be present at the rally, the party’s Mumbai north-east district office is under the most pressure as the Somaiya ground in Ghatkopar is in its jurisdiction. “We have been given targets to get a certain number of people to the rally.

Every worker is being asked to get people from various parts of the city. We are overworked, as we have been getting people for campaigning as it is, and now we have to get them for rallies, too,” said a member of the Mumbai north-east district office. Even the state unit is busy ensuring a high attendance. “Mumbai rallies are widely covered and even one empty chair isn’t acceptable,” said a senior state leader.

On the record, however, the party sings a different tune. Niranjan Shetty, chief spokesperson of Mumbai BJP, claims that people automatically come for Modi’s rallies and no one needs to be called for them. “Forget workers, even the common man comes to listen to Modiji. The ‘low turnout’ at the racecourse rally was a myth. All our rallies will be full,” he said.

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