The Telegraph
Thursday , January 16 , 2014
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Baba Ramdev woos with words, fails with patang
- BJP organises NaMo bash at Argora grounds, flies Salman, Anna kites to counter opponents

Ranchi, Jan. 15: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, who was in the state capital today to attend a BJP-sponsored Patang Mahotsav at Argora grounds, learnt the hard way that not all kites kiss the sky, even if they bear the face of Narendra Modi.

Either wind played spoilsport or the kite had a manufacturing defect. But, when Baba Ramdev pulled the string of a kite bearing the face of Modi, it flapped and fell to the ground.

Unfazed Ramdev did not let the spoiler affect his Modi branding initiative. “Narendra Modi ki patang sab se unchi udegi. Kalabajariyon ki patang kategi (Narendra Modi’s kite will fly the highest. The kites of the corrupt will be cut),” he roared into the microphone to loud applause from the crowd.

Nearly 200 people, many of them children, had gathered at the kite festival. A small stage with a huge billboard in the background had been erected. Besides Baba Ramdev, Ranchi MLA C.P. Singh, Jamshedpur (East) MLA Raghubar Das, Jharkhand NaMo Mantra in-charge Sanjay Seth, former Ranchi MP Ramtahal Choudhary and party leader Poonam Anand were present.

As many as 5,000 kites made of glossy paper and bearing Namo’s face were brought from Ahmedabad, whereas local maker Md Talib prepared 500 pieces. Party supporters also distributed over 100 kites bearing the face of actor Salman Khan, who attended a kite festival with Modi in Ahmedabad yesterday, in his Dabangg avatar.

This apart, nearly 100 kites bearing faces of Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare were also there. BJP supporters, however, claimed they were brought by the yoga guru himself. Speaking at the venue, Ramdeo fired a familiar salvo against the Congress and chose adjectives used by Modi to refer to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi over the past few months.

Referring to the Gandhi scion as Shehzade, the yoga guru turned caustic.

“Recently, he (Rahul) claimed that the Congress DNA was running in the blood of the country. He should first talk about his own DNA, which is half-Indian and half-Italian,” roared Ramdev.

The Yoga guru then came up with his familiar advice: “They (Gandhis) should do yoga with me.”

He further said, “I am not biased but Modiji is the need of the times.”

Anna Hazare is the party’s answer to Congress’ use of AAP chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as a bulwark against NaMo. As for Salman, though the actor cleverly avoided pledging support to Modi at the Ahmedabad event, BJP is trying hard to use the superstar’s visit to play to the minorities. State NaMo Mantra in-charge Seth, however, was diplomatic in his reply. “Some children had come with a request to be allowed to fly Salman Khan kites. How can we stop them? Even they (children) seem to know who is Narendra Modi,” he said.

But, Seth’s claims were found to be only partially true.

Quizzed about the picture is on the kite, 10-year old Santosh replied: “Mujhe pata hai yeh Narendra Modi hain kyunki yeh Ranchi aaye the. Lekin iske aage mujhe nahi pata ki ye kya kaam karte hain. (I know he is Narendra Modi as he had come to Ranchi. I don’t know what he does).”

BJP on Wednesday also launched a 44-second caller tune, NaMo NaMo Narendra Modi, made by local artist Rohandeo Pathak.

“Like the popularity of Modi; the caller tune has also gone viral,” said Poonam Anand.