Modi blazes campaign trail

Modi blazes campaign trail

Modi blazes campaign trail

The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi could well be one of the politicians who addressed the largest number of rallies, when compared to his rivals.

Crisscrossing the country from last September after his party named him the prime minister nominee, Modi has held at least 440 rallies and travelled over three lakh km across 25 states. These rallies are part of the total 5,827 public interface meetings organised by the party. He began with a rally in Rewari of Haryana, with the rally held at Ballia, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday being the last.

A lot of his rallies during campaigning have been surrounded with controversy. Following blasts at one of his rallies in Patna, security was tightened for subsequent public meetings. And amongst the last few of his rallies, was the one in Varanasi the permission for which was denied by the EC citing security reason. Sources, however, point out that there have been only generic intelligence inputs prior to all his rallies across the country.

State intelligence officers point out that security for Modi’s rallies have been a matter of stress not only for them but also to those overseeing his security arrangements when he was travelling. So, while Modi kept returning home in Gandhinagar every night after addressing rallies, it has been hectic not only for him, but his security personnel as well. 

During this election campaign, he also introduced “Chai Pe Charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), after the tea vendor jibe by the senior Congress leader Mani Shanker Aiyar. In this discussion, he was able to reach out to 4,000 locations across the country.

Party functionaries said there have been days when Modi addressed eight rallies on a single day in different parts of the country. Apart from the traditional campaign and rallies and road shows, Modi has also addressed people through the new 3D technology that he had introduced during the Assembly elections of Gujarat in 2012. Through the 3D campaign, Modi was able to reach out to 1,500 locations across the country. Whereas the number of people he targeted through the 3D rallies varied from being in hundreds to thousands.

But party workers maintain wherever Modi was present in person, crossing the figure of a lakh was very much achievable.