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Modi rallies amid Maoist bandh today

Ranchi, March 26: The state BJP unit is all geared up to accord a warm welcome to Narendra Modi tomorrow even as police are facing an uphill task of ensuring fool-proof security to the party’s prime ministerial candidate in wake of the two-day bandh call given by CPI(Maoist).

Modi is arriving on his maiden visit to Jharkhand — after the Lok Sabha elections were announced — tomorrow.

After landing at Birsa Munda airport in the capital at 10am, Modi will fly to Gumla in a chopper and address a public meeting at the airport grounds at 11am.

He will urge the residents of Gumla, which falls under Lohardaga Lok Sabha constituency, to vote for party nominee and sitting MP Sudarshan Bhagat.

Bhagat’s main opponents in Lohardaga are Congress nominee and former MP Rameshwar Oraon, Trinamul’s Chamra Linda and JVM’s Birendra Bhagat.

Modi will then head to Chatra to address another rally in favour of party candidate Sunil Kumar Singh around 1pm.

Notably, sitting Independent MP Inder Singh Namdhari, who was eyeing a BJP ticket, has decided not to contest this time, thereby bolstering Singh’s chances.

Modi’s visit to the district is expected to further emboldened the BJP nominee to take on his opponents — Congress’s Dhiraj Prasad Sahu, JVM nominee Neelam Devi and Ajsu’s Nagmani — with exuberance and confidence.

But before that, the state BJP has its task cut out.

The biggest challenge in front of them is to ensure that adequate number of people reach the rally grounds. For, vehicles usually remain off the roads during Maoist bandhs and train services are hit too.

“We have spoken to senior district officials of Gumla and Chatra. This time, people are going to defy Maoist diktat and turn out in large numbers to listen to Modi. They have realised that he alone can steer the nation in the right direction,” senior BJP leader and former chief minister Arjun Munda tried to sound positive.

Apart from ensuring Modi’s security, the police will have to take care of the common people’s safety too.

State DGP Rajeev Kumar said all possible steps had been taken to ensure safety and security at the venues.

“Besides, we have deployed forces at strategic locations across the state to foil subversive activities, if any. I am confident that the rallies will be held peacefully at both the places and no untoward incidents will be witnessed in the state,” Kumar added.