By: Dipti Singh
As Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi address rallies on April 20 and April 21, respectively, at the same venue of MMRDA ground at Bandra-Kurla Complex, Sulin Itchhaporia, the event manager for both the mega rallies, has a tough job at hand in changing the set-up and decor in less than a day.
According to Itchhaporia, proprietor of Munjal Themes and Occasions Pvt Ltd, Gandhi’s rally will have a simple and modest centre stage, while the one for the Modi rally will be double its size, with LED backdrop.
After Gandhi’s rally, Itchhaporia and his 1,000-odd workers will have to work non-stop to change the set-up in less than 20 hours. “We have little time to set up things for the BJP rally. At the same time, we have to check and re-check the arrangements to ensure there are no technical glitches at the last moment. I have increased the manpower from 500 to 1,000 workers,” Itchhaporia said.
While the centre stage for Gandhi’s rally measures 20×28 feet, the one for Modi’s rally will measure 60×40 feet. “We were told that the crowd expected for the Modi rally will be double the size at the Congress rally. Hence, the enclosures for the public will be slightly extended. The chairs for both the rallies will be the same, between 80,000 to 1 lakh. Also, for Modi’s rally, the centre stage will have an LED backdrop. This increases the technical work, which normally takes over 24 hours. But we will manage it in less than 20 hours,” said Itchhaporia.
Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar said, “We will have a bigger stage and enclosures as we are expecting a bigger crowd than the Congress. We decided to engage the same event manager to save time, since the interval between the two rallies is very small.”
Mumbai Congress chief Janardan Chandurkar, however, said his party’s rally would be much bigger: “We have booked 12 plots in the MMRDA grounds, while they have only eight plots.”