Hyderabad: The BJP has said that by charging people Rs 5 to attend a rally by Narendra Modi in Hyderabad, it is delivering a paradigm shift in the political landscape.
The Congress has shot back that the price point proves Mr Modi's market value.
The funds from the rally, scheduled for August 11, are to be donated to the flood-ravaged state of Uttarakhand. But the BJP's agenda is to prove the popularity of its front-runner for Prime Minister.
And in its over-drive to bolster that notion, NVVS Prabhakar, a local BJP leader, says 8,000 people have already registered online. But state president Kishan Reddy said that online sign-ups have yet to be launched, and that the entry fee will be voluntary.
Union Minister Manish Tewari tweeted that tickets for even flop films sell for Rs. 200-250. "Ticket to hear' a' CM Rs 5 Market discovers true value," he said.
The BJP responded, also on Twitter. "People paying to hear a leader! And the proceeds to be given away for a cause-Uttarakhand? Unheard of in our political culture?" tweeted spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.
In public comments in recent days, Mr Modi appears to be aggressively propagating hardliner credentials. Since Friday, he has used the analogy of a puppy being run over in the context of the communal riots of 2002, declared himself Hindu nationalist, and accused the Congress of using a "burqa (veil) of secularism" to conceal its administrative failures. The strategy appears to be aimed at polarising the pro-Hindutva right-wing vote as other parties try to consolidate the minority vote against him. (Read)