DAINIK NATION BUREAU
In an exciting development that marked the maiden poll rally of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Haridwar on Friday, the people present, though otherwise frenzied, was conspicuously cool when Modi introduced the party’s candidate for Haridwar Urban, Madan Kaushik, the three-time MLA from the seat, seeking votes for him. While the people cheered warmly as other candidates- Aadesh Chouhan from BHEL Ranipur, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion from Khanpur and Subodh Rakesh from Bhagwanpur -were being introduced the clapping ceased when Kaushik’s turn came, something that might add to the anxiety of the saffron camp that is bent on retaining the seats it won last time while wresting new ones Congress triumphed in in the previous face-off.
However, things were as were expected with frenzy gripping the crowd. They erupted in applause whenever Modi tore into the Harish Rawat government, taking to stinging riposte, during his 51-minute- speech that started at 2.48 pm.
The Rishikul Ground, having capacity of around 40,000, was nearly filled. But what happened is that just 15 minutes into the speech, the gathering started to thin. Excited by by the large turnout, PM started his speech, saying that wherever his eyes went it was teeming with heads of people. “Even the rooftops are filled with them,” he said. “I wonder whether my voice is reaching to you or not, but the message it gives is unmistakable,” he said.
Seeing people leaving the ground soon after he started his speech, PM made an impassioned appeal to them to give his party a term of five years to bring about a turnaround in the state. “ Uttarakhand has completed its 16 years since its inception and the next five years are crucial for its growth. When the child is passing through the critical period of adolescence the parents need to pay full attention. If they go astray during this impressionable time it is difficult to bring them back to the right tracks later. The state needs such special care and BJP is the party that can appropriately take care of it,” he said.
Although Balbeer Singh, who came from Jwalapur and leaving the venue during PM’s speech, said he had come here to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister. “Once my fancy was satisfied I decided to leave,” he said.
The party cadres sounded confused as to whether the people chose to leave the ground in the midst of the PM’s speech. “It does not mean anything. It happens. The large turnout has further bolstered our confidence. It seems that the Modi magic is yet to fizzle out. It would work wonder here too,” said a BJP activist, looking confident.