2 Lakh people, 10,000 Muslims – 4,000 from Kashmir valley: Lalkar of Modi in Jammu
* With thousands of people pouring into Jammu to listen to BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to deliver his first ever speech in the state, the city is in a state of lockdown
* Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley are expected to accompany him at Jammu.
* Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) police and Central Reserve Paramilitary Forces have set up barricades on all roads leading to the venue. Moreover, party banners and flags have been put up on the residential homes and shops.
Called as ‘Lalkar‘, the rally in Jammu is being considered to be a step taken by the BJP to upsurge support of Muslims.
* More than 2 lakh people, 10,000 of them Muslims – 4,000 from the Kashmir valley — backed by the vibrant social media campaign, will be rolling-out the red carpet for the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi amid tight security in Jammu on Sunday.
* For the first time 4,000 Muslims from the Kashmir valley would be joining Modi’s rally in Jammu. Led by Sofi Yousuf BJP’s Muslim face and provincial president, the Kashmiris would be leaving for the venue in a procession on Saturday, a day ahead of the Lalkar rally. “Our 4,000 strong contingent will include some moulanas as well. The way Kashmiri Muslims are expressing desire to listen to Modi is a manifestation of new thinking among people. I am getting calls from people seeking passes which shows Modi’s popularity”, Sofi told dna.
Muslims living in upper reaches and far-flung areas of Jammu region too are arriving in the temple city on Saturday. BJP has booked all dharmashals, lodges and inns in Jammu city to lodge around 10,000 people from these areas. “More than 10,000 people from upper reaches of Rajouri, Poonch, Gool, Doda and other areas will reach Jammu on Saturday. Of whom 5,000 would be Muslims. We have made all arrangements for their boarding and lodging in Jammu,” said Vibodh Gupta, BJP state vice president.
* Gupta noted that arrangements have been finalised for the rally to be held at MA Stadium Jammu. “Youth in Jammu and Kashmir wants change. Particularly Muslim youth pin hope on Modi who is dynamic leader and solve all problems,” he said.
* People are heading towards the rally venue on foot said Yasir, adding that hundreds of others, traveling from distant parts of the state had reached the venue last evening and slept inside the stadium to ensure that the could listen to Modi.
*Security is understandably extremely tight, with authorities keen to avoid a repeat of Modi’s Patna rally, which was the target of serial bomb blasts. Four high-ranking police officials, including an Inspector General of Police from Gujarat, arrived in Jammu three days before Modi’s rally.
The Gujarat police will be personally overseeing the security arrangements at the venue where Modi is supposed to address the rally, sources said.
* BJP has nominated 32 in-charges to ensure smooth conduct of the event. The BJP had dispatched them both to Kashmir and Ladakh, the other two regions of the state, were they held talks with activists to ensure that the Jammu rally is a resounding success. Senior BJP leader in Kashmir Sofi Yousf told Firstpost the state unit of the party has made all arrangements for the people who want to travel to Jammu for the rally.
* BJP has set up a kitchen which would serve food to the people coming in from far flung areas. The kitchen has the capacity to serve more than 10 thousand people at a time. “For people coming in from far flung areas we will be serving food and transport arrangements have already been made for them.
* Among the common people of Jammu, there is curiosity and word of mouth publicity. “We admire Modiji’s work. He is strict and incorruptible. He will take India to the next level and people like us will proposer,” believes Mohan Kumar, a tea seller in in Rajiv Chowk says.
* The BJP has taken onboard almost all the social, religious and traders’ associations to make the rally a grand success. Sunil Gupta, member of the traders’ federation of Jammu says all the traders are excited about Modi’s rally. “We have to show the unity by making this rally a resounding success. For that to happen people from different walks of life have come together and we have volunteered for this rally.”
The Lalkar Rally has got both the Congress and the National Conference (NC) worried, the traders say. The Modi rally would change the political scene of Jammu province and help the State BJP to perform exceedingly well in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, it is expected. Dr Jitendra Singh, National Executive member and Chief Spokesperson of BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, says people are expected to come from remote parts of Jammu and special arrangements have been made for them.