The Madhya Pradesh BJP on Tuesday said confirmation of Narendra Modi’s presence in Bhopal for the Karyakarta Mahakumbh had enthused workers to such an extent that the turnout was expected to cross 7.5 lakh.
Till a few days ago, there was suspense over the Gujarat Chief Minister’s participation after fears expressed in certain BJP quarters that it might affect the party’s prospects in constituencies with sizable Muslim presence.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was considered a dark horse in the PM race till Modi was anointed, had denied reports of a rift between the two leaders, a talk that started when Modi did not feature in the publicity material at the launch of MP CM’s Jan Ashirwad Yatra from Ujjain. It was against this background that the party wanted to showcase the presence of Muslims for the Bhopal rally. Chouhan is not averse to sporting the skull cap, unlike Modi, and takes his secular image very seriously.
Calling it the largest rally of political workers ever, Industry Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya said the state BJP wanted to show the national leadership how popular the party was in Madhya Pradesh, which goes to polls shortly. Claiming that the previous record also belonged to the party, Vijayvargiya said preparations started a year ago and the expected turnout was a result of meticulous planning. The Congress alleged the ruling party had spent Rs 150 crore on the event, saying the extravaganza was planned to hide the state government’s failures on various fronts.