For Narendra Modi's Bihar rally, tea-stalls and free jalebis
Patna: The BJP is going all out to ensure that Narendra Modi's mega rally in Bihar capital Patna, his first in three years, is a sweet success.
The proof is in a Jalebi shop that has recently opened in Saharsa district, 250 km from Patna.
As part of the BJP's drive to promote Sunday's rally, party leaders have opened this stall to give out free Jalebis in the name of their Prime Ministerial candidate.
Customers may get a plate of hot Jalebis free, but a local BJP MLA says he and other leaders are picking up the tab for this publicity stunt. A few days ago, senior BJP leaders like Sushil Modi had inaugurated at least five Narendra Modi tea stalls across the state.
For years, Mr Modi was banned from campaigning in Bihar by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is among those who accuse the Gujarat chief minister of being a divisive leader and also of not doing enough to prevent the Gujarat riots of 2002, in which hundreds of Muslims were killed under his watch.
But after the BJP's 17-year alliance with Mr Kumar's party ended bitterly in June, the party is determined to make Narendra Modi's rally a roaring success on Nitish Kumar's turf. (read: Modi vs Nitish in Patna)
Giant hoardings and banners are up at most major intersections in the state, and senior BJP leaders from the state are holding roadshows to mobilise support for the rally. These include Shatrughan Sinha, a one-time Modi critic, who said yesterday that no one could stop Narendra Modi from becoming Prime Minister. (read: Shatrughan Sinha joins Modi fan club)
At the rally venue, Gandhi Maidan, a 30-foot stage is being erected and a massive electronic screen will flash images of Mr Modi. Eleven special trains and almost 3000 buses have been hired for ferrying people from all over the state.
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