File photo: Narendra Modi addresses a rally in Gulbarga, Karnataka
Photo courtesy: PTI
Narendra Modi is going to hold a rally at Lucknow's Ramabai Ambedkar ground today. Since his anointment as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, this will be Mr Modi's 8th rally in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP general secretary and Uttar Pradesh in-charge Amit Shah and state unit president Laxmikant Bajpai inspected the rally venue on Saturday evening and claimed that the 'Vijay Shankhnaad Rally' would have a "historic turnout". The party claims that 5 lakh people will attend the rally today.
Mr Shah said with Sunday's rally, the BJP's first phase of campaign for the Lok Sabha polls would come to an end. He also said that party president Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders would address the meet.
The party has made elaborate arrangements to bring BJP supporters to the venue. 29 special trains, 4,500 buses, 25,000 cars-jeeps and 50,000 motorcycles have been hired by the BJP for the purpose.
Saffron banners, flags, posters have come up all around Lucknow as well as the rally venue where a grand stage has been erected with a massive and impressive picture of former prime minister and five time MP from Lucknow Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the backdrop.
Massive security arrangements have been put in place by the state police. "We have made three-tier security arrangement for the rally and strong checks have been put in place. We have been sanitising the area for the last one week, tight security has been put in place," Subhash Chander, Inspector General of Police, Lucknow Zone, told NDTV.
Uttar Pradesh is a politically significant state and all major parties have special focus on the state with Lok Sabha election due in May.
With a share of 80 Lok Sabha seats, Uttar Pradesh is considered a deciding factor about who forms the government at the Centre. The state has given the country maximum eight out of 14 Prime Ministers.