BJP's Book-My-Show for Narendra Modi. Pay Rs 5 in Hyderabad

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BJP's Book-My-Show for Narendra Modi. Pay Rs 5 in Hyderabad
Hyderabad:  In an attempt to signal its confidence in Narendra Modi's popularity, the BJP has decided that anyone who wants to attend his rally in Hyderabad next month will have to pay Rs 5.

The party says the money raised will be donated to help in the relief and rehabilitation efforts for Uttarakhand, which was mangled by torrential rains and landslides last month.

The BJP says that while other parties pay people to ensure large audiences for their leaders, Mr Modi is such a large draw that he can amass crowds despite an entry fee.

The party has booked the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad for August 11 for its star speaker. The venue can accommodate 30,000 people. The BJP expects a lakh to attend.

The event is being billed as a "youth rally" targeting a demographic of 18-40. Mr Modi addressed students at Pune's famous Fergusson College over the weekend; a few months ago, he addressed Delhi's prestigious Shriram College of Commerce or SRCC where descriptors of the youth like "new-age power" received rave reviews from many students.

In the last few days, however, his comments have provoked strong censure. In an interview on Friday, he appeared to suggest that he was comparing the communal riots of Gujarat in 2002 to the running over of a puppy - he said he felt "sad" over the violence just the way one would feel "bad" when a car runs over a puppy.

He tweeted later: "In our culture every form of life (including puppies) is valued and worshipped." But critics remain unappeased.

On Sunday, at a Pune rally, Mr Modi said the Congress seeks refuge in a "burqa (veil)of secularism" to cover up its many failures. The Congress retaliated today that "the burqa of secularism is much better than naked communalism."



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