BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will reach Jharkhand for the fourth time to address his sixth Lok Sabha poll rally on Thursday, but for Jamshedpur, it will be NaMo’s maiden stopover.
Exactly a week before the Lok Sabha seat goes to polls on April 17 and on the day the state’s first four constituencies hit the voting booths, Modi will make his address at Gopal Maidan, the heart of Jharkhand’s industrial town.
The landmark green lung at Bistupur, which can host crowds of up to 15,000 — admittedly a tight squeeze — is gearing up into a fortress for the Modi rally, admittedly the biggest public event in years.
Modi is likely to land at Sonari aerodrome at 12.25pm and straightaway head for Gopal Maidan. He will address the crowd from 12.35pm to 1.10pm and canvass for Jamshedpur nominee Bidyut Baran Mahto. He will leave for Sonari aerodrome shortly afterwards.
Welcoming its most high-powered national campaigner yet, police and administration are working round the clock on security and traffic.
In addition to the three existing entry points to Gopal Maidan, one opposite Regal Building and two near Tulsi Bhavan, the administration has set up two new ones opposite Contractors’ Area.
Also, drop-gates to bar traffic have come up, one opposite Center Point in Contractors’ Area, another on the connector leading to Bistupur from CH Area, the third near Jamshedpur Women’s College-Gujarati Sanatan Samaj and the fourth near Nataraj and N Road. Barricades have been put up on a stretch near the venue and the bypass besides Pratap Tower, Bistupur.
DSP (traffic) Rakesh Mohan Sinha said drop-gates would restrict traffic to the venue from 9am to the time Modi goes back to Sonari aerodrome. The Patna bomb blasts at Gandhi Maidan last year has also made every Modi rally an intensive security test.
A team from National Security Guard (NSG) and Gujarat Police and their Jharkhand counterparts did a recce of Gopal Maidan on Wednesday afternoon, checking every inch, inspecting the stage, the grassy patches and the area outside. They also deployed sniffer dogs.
“Security arrangements should be foolproof during the Modi rally. We are doing our best, coordinating with the NSG and Gujarat Police,” East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police Amol V. Homkar told The Telegraph.
Though the SSP declined to reveal the number of policemen to be deployed, sources off the record said over 400 would be on duty. The police have also prepared a route chart for the Gujarat chief minister.
District BJP units have installed 10 desert coolers onstage. A restroom and temporary toilets have also come up backstage.
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