Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
Kolkata: Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP`s prime ministerial candidate for 2014 General Elections, Narendra Modi, is scheduled to hold a rally here on Wednesday.
The rally is to be held at the Brigade Parade Grounds. This is the same venue from which Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee launched her poll drive.
Modi`s rally today will kickstart the BJP`s Lok Sabha poll campaign in the state. As per reports, the party is expecting a crowd in excess of five lakh for the rally.
The BJP is not a major player in the state and would be pinning hopes on Modi for a turnaround in West Bengal. The party won one seat in 1998 and two seats in 1999 General Elections. In the last Lok Sabha polls in 2009, the BJP bagged only the Darjeeling constituency when Jaswant Singh emerged as the winner.
Meanwhile, the BJP has left no stones unturned to make sure that Modi`s rally on Mamata`s turf is a huge success. It has hosted road shows, organised runs and walks and and distributed specially made `NaMo sweets`. Modi`s masks have been seen wearing by supporters and a `NaMo Jalrath vessel` was also launched to boost the event.
At the same time, hordes of "NaMo tea stalls" have come up across West Bengal, which has been selling tea at nominal rates. The Gujarat CM worked as a tea vendor in his young days and used to sell tea in train compartments. He has often evoked his humble background in his speeches and rallies.
BJP president Rajnath Singh and other top leaders are also expected to address the rally.
Massive security arrangements has been undertaken for the event and Gujarat Police team, along with National Security Guard contingent are reported to be camping in the city. The city police too are looking after the security and CCTV cameras have been put up at important locations. Also, armed personnel will be posted on high rise buildings, as per reports.
The last rally that Modi addressed was in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. Next Sunday, he is scheduled to hold a rally in Kerala.