BJP city chief Raj Purohit is nurturing high hopes of hosting a public rally at Kamgar Maidan in Elphinstone on May 25, a day after the National Executive meeting, which will be held at YB Chavan Centre, Nariman Point. But party sources expressed serious doubt.
While many city corporators have been kept out of this rally, others are away on holiday. “People come to rallies after they are motivated by their local leaders and corporators. But most of the city corporators are either out of town or have not been involved,” a party member said, on condition of anonymity.
A few party leaders blame the sudden announcement of the rally as the reason. “I have cancelled my vacations for the rally, but not everyone will do that,” a party leader said, on condition of anonymity.
Also, many party workers have gone to their hometown. “This is one of the biggest reasons why there can’t be a crowd at the event,” said a member of the organising committee of the National Executive.
Call off rally
A close aide of Purohit claimed that she had even advised him to call off the rally, as it would unnecessarily burden the state unit in terms of resources.
A senior BJP leader said, “Everyone in the party knows that gathering a crowd of 15,000 people is not possible now. We can barely gather a crowd of 5,000 people. We will conduct the rally with as many people as we can arrange.”
Meanwhile, Purohit is unfazed. “I have already spoken to the top leaders, including Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, and they have given their consent to speak at the rally. We have a competent team that’s mobilising the crowd for the rally. I am sure that people will come to hear their leaders,” said Purohit.