NDA mobilises 32 trains, 6,000 buses for Patna rally on Sunday

How much money is being spent in organising NDA’s rally at Patna on Sunday, March 3, is the question on every lip as BJP and JD(U) pull out all the stops to launch their election campaign

Photo Courtesy: PTI
Photo Courtesy: PTI
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Navendu Sharma

As many as 32 special trains and 6000 buses have been pressed into service to ferry people to Patna for NDA’s election rally on Sunday, March 3, to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan among others. Thousands of smaller utility vehicles and cars have also been lined up. Trains alone have been booked at a cost of around ₹3 Crore, confirmed sources in the Railways.

The BJP being flush with funds and with JD(U) in the saddle in Bihar have found their manifestation in the posters, hoardings and welcome arches which have come up in the city. Not surprisingly, state RJD chief Ram Chandra Purve alleges gross misuse of government machinery.

The ‘Sankalp Rally’ is the first by the NDA in the Bihar capital after Nitish Kumar’s ‘Ghar Wapsi’ when he decided to return to the NDA and jettisoned RJD and the Congress. The rally is seen as the launch of the poll campaign by NDA and a show of strength.

Tents are being erected at bungalows of ministers, legislators and other NDA supporters. Cooks have been engaged to prepare food for the people attending the rally. A big ‘shamiana’ is coming up on the ground opposite Miller School in the heart of Patna

Each train is likely to transport 1,500 to 2,000 rallyists. The sources said Railways has charged ₹4 lakh to ₹9 lakh per train, depending on the distance between the originating station and the destination. Among other places, the special trains will start from Purnia, Bhagalpur, Pirpainti, Banka, Katihar, Kishanganj, Khagaria, Jhajha, Bagaha, Raxaul and Saharsa.

Sankalp hamara, NDA dobara’ exhort many of the hoardings and posters on the route through which the PM’s motorcade will pass. Barricades have come up along the route and hectic work is going on at Gandhi Maidan for the rally. The object is to overshadow the Congress rally earlier this year and the comparable rallies organised by Lalu Prasad Yadav in his heydays, confide NDA sources.

Tents are being erected at bungalows of ministers, legislators and other NDA supporters. Cooks have been engaged to prepare food for the people attending the rally. A big ‘shamiana’ is coming up on the ground opposite Miller School in the heart of Patna.

State BJP spokesman Suresh Rungta informed that 40 people, conforming to the number of Lok Sabha seats in the state, besides the Prime Minister will be seated on the dais. Seventeen leaders each of the BJP and JD(U), and six of the LJP will be seated on the main dais, while another dais is also being put up to accommodate other allies and constituents.

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