The crowd at Modi’s Brigade rally…

...from Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam for ‘free’ ride, food.

Written by Arshad Ali | Kolkata | Published:February 6, 2014 5:11 am
BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi addresses a rally at Brigade Parade Ground, Kolkata, Wednesday. BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi addresses a rally at Brigade Parade Ground, Kolkata, Wednesday.

Its shadowy political strength in West Bengal notwithstanding, the BJP on Wednesday managed to assemble a crowd of “eight lakh people” for its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rally at the Brigade Parade Ground. But what seemed to split the opinion on the crowd was where the people had come from.

While the party’s state president, Rahul Sinha, firmly held that the “eight lakh people had gathered from across the state,” those from the crowd said how “interesting” and “free” their ride from their native states – Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam – to the City of Joy had been.

“We had come yesterday and spent the night at Howrah Station. The party people had provided us with khichdi and roti-sabzi in the morning. We came because of (BJP leader) Arjun Munda’s influence in Jharkhand,” Sudama Yadav, a resident of Giridih in Jharkhand, said. Munda was one of the guests on stage, along with Modi and BJP national president Rajnath Singh.

“We didn’t have to pay for the train fare. The partymen said if we wear the badge, no one would ask us for the tickets. The party had taken care of the meals. After the rally, we plan to visit some interesting places in Kolkata and will either return late tonight or early tomorrow,” 30-year-old Narayan Yadav, also from Jharkhand, said.

And then there were some for whom the significance of the rally was secondary. “Yahan pe aane ka achha bahana thha (It was a nice excuse to come to Kolkata),” Nunu Ram Paswan, a Jharkhand resident, said. “Many of my relatives work here and I might get an employment here. After the rally, I will visit some of my acquaintances who work here and see if I can get a job too,” he explained.

Paswan was indifferent to the notion that his visit was a statistic when put in the party’s context of assembling “a large gathering”. “For me, it was an opportunity to visit Kolkata for free,” he said.

The party’s state president, meanwhile, refuted that people from other states had come. “No one had come from any other place. They were all from across the state.” When he was informed of the specific details of the people from Jharkhand, he signed them off as “one or two stray cases” and “not more than that”.

Narayan Yadav pointed out they were not “isolated cases”. “There must have been at least 2000 people from Jharkhand alone, and then there were people who had turned up from Bihar and Assam as well,” he said.

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  1. I
    Indus
    Feb 9, 2014 at 4:07 am
    Arshad ali ! your point well taken! You want to slight Modi . The job having done , you can take the reward from your Masters! Any child who watches Politics in India will tell you what is the position of BJP in West Bengal. So If the crowd comprises of at least 50% Bengalis , it is an achievement and they have come only for MODI!
    Reply
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      Indus
      Feb 9, 2014 at 4:07 am
      Arshad ali ! your point well taken! You want to slight Modi . The job having done , you can take the reward from your Masters! Any child who watches Politics in India will tell you what is the position of BJP in West Bengal. So If the crowd comprises of at least 50% Bengalis , it is an achievement and they have come only for MODI!
      Reply
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        Sandip Rudra
        Feb 6, 2014 at 6:43 am
        If only 2000 came from Jharkhand, it may be the same number from Bihar and am. But the gathering was a mammoth 8 lakh! So why mention about people representing less than 1% of the turnout. This is the problem in India, we do not hear the problems and issues of the majority community. Only minority over vote and cheap publicity. What a waste of space in the newspaper. We wanted to know the policy outlined by Mr Modi for Bengal.
        Reply
        1. S
          Sandip Rudra
          Feb 6, 2014 at 6:43 am
          If only 2000 came from Jharkhand, it may be the same number from Bihar and am. But the gathering was a mammoth 8 lakh! So why mention about people representing less than 1% of the turnout. This is the problem in India, we do not hear the problems and issues of the majority community. Only minority over vote and cheap publicity. What a waste of space in the newspaper. We wanted to know the policy outlined by Mr Modi for Bengal.
          Reply
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            Abhishek Bose
            Feb 6, 2014 at 4:12 am
            shipping 8 lakh from outside state is a big deal - the journo has no idea how far am is - seriously; who pays you guys .... kuch mehnat karo, anyways political rallies are attended by people who are reimbursed and they do enjoy checking the ciy out .. Left and TMC have perfected that art !!!
            Reply
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              Abhishek Bose
              Feb 6, 2014 at 4:12 am
              shipping 8 lakh from outside state is a big deal - the journo has no idea how far am is - seriously; who pays you guys .... kuch mehnat karo, anyways political rallies are attended by people who are reimbursed and they do enjoy checking the ciy out .. Left and TMC have perfected that art !!!
              Reply
              1. B
                Bakumbai
                Feb 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm
                The media has still not reconciled that Modi is going to occupy that PM chair. This is a nightmare for them having been indulged by Congress for ten long years.
                Reply
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                  Bakumbai
                  Feb 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm
                  The media has still not reconciled that Modi is going to occupy that PM chair. This is a nightmare for them having been indulged by Congress for ten long years.
                  Reply
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                    Bloggervat Bloggervat
                    Feb 6, 2014 at 3:26 am
                    Write whatever you want. But you would be the very same people to write Modi is the 16th PM of India and there is nothing stopping him from reaching there. All congiwalas would eat their words
                    Reply
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                      Bloggervat Bloggervat
                      Feb 6, 2014 at 3:26 am
                      Write whatever you want. But you would be the very same people to write Modi is the 16th PM of India and there is nothing stopping him from reaching there. All congiwalas would eat their words
                      Reply
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                        C.
                        Feb 6, 2014 at 9:00 am
                        If you go by the areal photo it was less than 1 lakh, around 80,000
                        Reply
                        1. C
                          C.
                          Feb 6, 2014 at 9:00 am
                          If you go by the areal photo it was less than 1 lakh, around 80,000
                          Reply
                          1. C
                            Comrade Aman
                            Feb 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm
                            Is That 8 Lak People Gathher In A Corner .......... Such A Shame On You
                            Reply
                            1. C
                              Comrade Aman
                              Feb 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm
                              Is That 8 Lak People Gathher In A Corner .......... Such A Shame On You
                              Reply
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                                drreddy
                                Feb 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm
                                one way or the other keep speakint petty about modi and still you are only talking about modi.keep taking about him.good or bad.NAMO NAMO NAMO
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  Anky Kumar
                                  Feb 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm
                                  Report written by 'Arshad Ali'
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    Anky Kumar
                                    Feb 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm
                                    Report written by 'Arshad Ali'
                                    Reply
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                                      Abdul
                                      Feb 6, 2014 at 4:44 am
                                      500 crore propoa can do anything, like all 8 lacs came from bangladesh etc.,
                                      Reply
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                                        Abdul
                                        Feb 6, 2014 at 4:44 am
                                        500 crore propoa can do anything, like all 8 lacs came from bangladesh etc.,
                                        Reply
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                                          indieboy
                                          Feb 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm
                                          Read Varun's tweets. He told the truth. This is congress trick
                                          Reply
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                                            indieboy
                                            Feb 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm
                                            Read Varun's tweets. He told the truth. This is congress trick
                                            Reply
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