Take a peek at Modinomics

Is this a case of misplaced confidence or sheer gumption to score a major political point?

By P S Jayaram

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Published: Tue 16 Jul 2013, 8:31 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:48 PM

Either ways, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to experiment with a novel idea, perhaps for the first time in Indian political history, to charge an entry fee of Rs5 to hear the party’s National Campaign Committee chief and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi speech at a public meeting scheduled to be held in Hyderabad on August 11.

The saffron party’s perceived star campaigner, known for his frequent flirting with controversy, will be addressing a public meeting at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in the heart of the city. The BJP’s Andhra Pradesh unit is expecting nearly 100,000 people for the rally. The party leaders said that given the “immense popularity” of Modi, people would not mind paying the entry fee to listen to him.

“While other political parties shell out money to get audience for their rallies, here is a case where the youth of the state are willing to buy tickets to listen to their favourite leader. This is the extent of Modi’s charisma, and we are trying to drive home this point,” state BJP President G Kishan Reddy said.

The party, however, said that the proceeds of the entry fee would be donated to help in the relief and rehabilitation efforts in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand. It booked the Lal Bahadur Stadium for its star campaigner and the process of booking has already started online. The rally, aimed at addressing issues faced by the youth of the country, was originally planned for July 27 but was postponed due to the Panchayat polls in the state. State BJP leaders said that it would be Modi’s first public meeting in South India after taking over as the national campaign head and would signal the party’s campaign for the 2014 elections.

Seeking to project Modi as the youth icon, the party leaders have been making hectic preparations for the rally by putting up hoardings in the Telangana districts around Hyderabad to attract crowds. The saffron party has already promised to initiate the process for formation of separate Telangana state within 100 days of NDA coming to power.

The pro-Telangana stand, coupled with Modi factor, is expected to benefit the party in the region. Modi is also scheduled to address a rally of farmers in Rajahmundry town in East Godavari district later in August.


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