Embarrassed after videos showing empty chairs at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election meetings went viral on social media, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to make a grand statement out of his rally in Surat on Thursday.
The election meeting in Surat will be Modi’s last rally ahead of voting for the first phase in Gujarat elections.
The Gujarat-incharge of the BJP, Jeetu Vadhani, is said to have held a meeting with diamond and textile traders and industrialists on Wednesday, in which he asked them to stop protesting the BJP.
“Vadhani assured us that in the upcoming GST Council meeting on December 18, a solution to all our problems will be presented,” a diamond trader, who didn’t want to be identified, present in the meeting told National Herald.
All the traders present in Wednesday’s meeting belong to the Patidar community, which has mobilised around Hardik Patel.
It is learnt that the meeting was held at Kiran Hospital, run by the Patidar Aarogya Trust and inaugurated by PM Modi in April this year.
It is further learnt that the BJP leader requested each trader present to send a certain number of people to PM’s rally on Thursday. A list mentioning how many people each trader would send was distributed among the participants. The list, seen by National Herald, was further distributed to small-scale traders.
These traders will bring their workers mainly in the area where their factories are situated, for example, Varchha road and Katargam, etc. Thus, in the factories owned by BJP supporters, workers would get a half day off on Thursday.
When NH spoke to a diamond trader and regional chairman of GIEPC, Dinesh Nawadia, he went, “Modi is our prime minister and he is coming to our city, so, people will naturally come to see him.”
Modi’s rally has been organised in Limbayat, considered as BJP’s stronghold and held by CR Patil, who is considered close to the prime minister.
The BJP seems to be trying hard to make up for the damage caused by the empty chairs in Modi’s previous rallies.