Crowd only 50,000, Modi’s Kolkata rally ‘okay’: Varun Gandhi

"You have got the figures wrong. It is not true that 200,000 plus people turned up at the meeting," Varun said.

Written by Subrata Nagchowdhury | Kolkata | Updated: February 7, 2014 2:10 am

BJP general secretary Varun Gandhi has said that the size of the crowd at Narendra Modi’s election rally in Kolkata on Wednesday was perhaps a fourth of what his party colleagues have claimed, and that the meeting was just about an “okay” success.

Asked about the rally and the supposedly “huge” turnout, Varun, who also has special charge of West Bengal for the BJP central leadership, said on Thursday, “It was okay.”

Asked why he did not think it was excellent, Varun said, “You have got the figures wrong. It is not true that 200,000 plus people turned up at the meeting. The crowd was at the most 45,000 to 50,000.”

Reporters covering the event had made visual estimates of the size of the crowd, backed by the assessment of the police. State BJP leaders have been euphoric about the turnout at Brigade Parade Ground, historically the venue for massive rallies by the Left Front and Trinamool governments, and their estimates have varied from 3 lakh to 8 lakh.

Tathagata Roy, former state BJP president, said over 300,000 people had come to listen to Modi, and over 50,000 had been stopped on their way to the Brigade by TMC cadres.

Asked what he thought of the content of the speeches by Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh, Varun said: “I am not to comment on that. You should ask state leaders like (state unit president) Rahul Sinha.”
State BJP leaders were disappointed on Wednesday at what they perceived as Modi and Rajnath going soft on the Trinamool government.
On Thursday, a defensive Sinha said that it was possibly the expectations of the media — and not of the crowd — that the two top leaders had failed to meet.

“Central leaders are expected to follow a national perspective, and focus on national leaders, not state leaders. The state is our domain. Mamata Banerjee is not a national leader on whom Modiji or Rajnath Singh would dwell,” Sinha said. “We have spent 10 years together and know what stuff she is made of. We will not make the same mistake again. She is not to be taken into the BJP’s house.”

Tathagata Roy said: “Central leaders have their own points of view on Mamata Banerjee’s shortcomings. They too tried to criticize her indirectly. They asked the crowd if ‘poribartan’ had come to Bengal, and everyone roared back ‘No!’”

Tapan Sikdar, who was a minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, however, admitted that the issue of Modi and Rajnath treading softly on Mamata was being discussed within the party. Political circles in the state have been abuzz with speculation over whether the BJP central leadership was following the same line vis a vis Mamata as the Congress’s central leadership — that is, allowing state leaders to attack her, while holding their punches at the top.

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First Published on: February 6, 2014 10:24 pm
  1. A
    Ankit raj
    Feb 7, 2014 at 8:40 am
    IS Varun is not satisfied with Bengal BJP leaders or he has lost faith in Modi's crowed pulling capacity?
    Reply
    1. A
      Ankit raj
      Feb 7, 2014 at 11:58 am
      If Modi does not enjoy w hearted support of Varun and his mother Maneka within BJP then how will he win support from other parties?
      Reply
      1. A
        Ankit raj
        Feb 7, 2014 at 11:58 am
        If Modi does not enjoy w hearted support of Varun and his mother Maneka within BJP then how will he win support from other parties?
        Reply
        1. A
          Ankit raj
          Feb 7, 2014 at 9:08 am
          Is Varun hi underestimating crowed in Narendra Modi's Kolkata Rally .?
          Reply
          1. A
            anoop
            Feb 7, 2014 at 11:37 am
            Varun hi recently said that rajnath is better PM then Modi. they have conflict in there own party. how will they give a stable govt to country.
            Reply
            1. A
              anoop
              Feb 7, 2014 at 11:37 am
              Varun hi recently said that rajnath is better PM then Modi. they have conflict in there own party. how will they give a stable govt to country.
              Reply
              1. R
                ravi
                Feb 7, 2014 at 9:58 am
                truth really hurts
                Reply
                1. N
                  Nia Bansal
                  Feb 7, 2014 at 11:32 am
                  do you want your party to come under RTI & make its book open to the public?? what is BJP's stand on foreign nationals who are overstaying in thee country??
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Nia Bansal
                    Feb 7, 2014 at 11:32 am
                    do you want your party to come under RTI & make its book open to the public?? what is BJP's stand on foreign nationals who are overstaying in thee country??
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      anuj
                      Feb 7, 2014 at 8:48 am
                      चुनावी रैलियों में भाड़े पर भीड़ बुला लेने से कोई चुनाव नहीं जीत लेता. जिस प्रकार दिल्ली विधान सभा चुनाव से पहले भाजपा की ओर से थोक के भाव लोगों को जुटाया जाता है वह निंदनीय है.
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        anuj
                        Feb 7, 2014 at 8:48 am
                        चुनावी रैलियों में भाड़े पर भीड़ बुला लेने से कोई चुनाव नहीं जीत लेता. जिस प्रकार दिल्ली विधान सभा चुनाव से पहले भाजपा की ओर से थोक के भाव लोगों को जुटाया जाता है वह निंदनीय है.
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          arjun
                          Feb 7, 2014 at 9:44 am
                          Rallys and delegates never decides the election results.
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            vishnu
                            Feb 7, 2014 at 9:02 am
                            कांग्रेस कभी भी भीड़ जुटाने में विश्वास नहीं रखती बल्कि भारतीय जनता के दिलों में जगह बनाने के प्रयास करती है.
                            Reply
                            1. V
                              vishnu
                              Feb 7, 2014 at 9:02 am
                              कांग्रेस कभी भी भीड़ जुटाने में विश्वास नहीं रखती बल्कि भारतीय जनता के दिलों में जगह बनाने के प्रयास करती है.
                              Reply
                              1. D
                                dheeraj
                                Feb 7, 2014 at 11:32 am
                                seems like his own party member don't believe in him. he should first gain the trust of there own party members then talk to common people.
                                Reply
                                1. D
                                  dheeraj
                                  Feb 7, 2014 at 11:32 am
                                  seems like his own party member don't believe in him. he should first gain the trust of there own party members then talk to common people.
                                  Reply
                                  1. G
                                    Garuda Garuda
                                    Feb 6, 2014 at 9:43 pm
                                    definitely NaMo concentrated on LS , the leader is just ***hurt, the rally was easily in par with tmc rally which was a no content rally ..........
                                    Reply
                                    1. G
                                      Garuda Garuda
                                      Feb 6, 2014 at 9:43 pm
                                      definitely NaMo concentrated on LS , the leader is just ***hurt, the rally was easily in par with tmc rally which was a no content rally ..........
                                      Reply
                                      1. G
                                        GeoK
                                        Feb 8, 2014 at 2:07 am
                                        Again Feku
                                        Reply
                                        1. G
                                          GeoK
                                          Feb 8, 2014 at 2:07 am
                                          Again Feku
                                          Reply
                                          1. C
                                            CIA Subbastard
                                            Feb 7, 2014 at 9:55 am
                                            haha..defend ur master
                                            Reply
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