The Telegraph
Friday , January 31 , 2014
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Tight vigil for Modi poll rally

- Muslim groups give boycott call for BJP leader’s visit on Feb. 8

Imphal, Jan. 30: The Manipur government has set up “foolproof” security for the visit of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi next week to campaign for the Lok Sabha election.

“We will provide all the required security cover for Modi during his visit. He already has Z-category security cover since he is the Gujarat chief minister. All possible security measures will be taken during his stay so that nothing untoward happens,” deputy chief minister and home minister Gaikhangam said today.

Modi will arrive here on February 8 on an election tour of the Northeast. After addressing a public rally on the same day, he will head to Guwahati for another election campaign, BJP sources said.

Party sources said Modi would arrive here by a special plane on the morning of February 8. Soon after landing, he will head to the Langjing Achouba Club ground near the CRPF group centre, 5km west of Imphal, to address the public. The BJP state unit has organised at least 2,000 bikers to accompany Modi from Tulihal airport to the rally venue.

The Union home ministry last week issued a priority high-security alert to every state where Modi is due to address rallies, as the leader faces multiple threats from terrorist groups. According to sources, Modi faces threats from Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Indian Mujahideen, among others.

Official sources said though the presence of these groups in Manipur was not clear and trouble from local outfits was unlikely, they were not taking any chances. “We are carrying flush-out operations regularly in and around Imphal,” a source said.

The state BJP unit is expecting a turnout of around one lakh people at the rally venue, where Trinamul Congress leader and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had addressed an election rally during 2012 Manipur Assembly elections.

The BJP, which is hoping to come back to power after the Lok Sabha elections, has been working overtime to win maximum seats in the northeastern states. The joining of several political heavyweights and ex-servicemen has strengthened the state unit, though the party does not have any MLA in the Assembly. The BJP is planning to contest from the two Lok Sabha seats in Manipur, which are currently held by the Congress.

In a related development, local Muslim organisations today resolved to boycott Modi’s visit, accusing him of indulging in anti-minority activities.

The decision to boycott the BJP leader’s visit was taken today in a joint meeting of the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind (Manipur unit), Muslim Social Workers’ Union, Manipur, and All Manipur Muslim Organisations’ Coordinating Committee, the apex body of Muslim citizen groups in the state.

“(The meeting) resolved to boycott the visit of Narendra Modi in Imphal considering his anti-minority activities, especially during the 2002 Gujarat riots where thousands of people were massacred and tortured without any protection from the government machinery,” the resolution said.

The meeting further resolved not to allow a “highly communal person” like Narendra Modi to land on the “secular soil” of Manipur.

The organisations, however, thanked Congress leaders for nominating Haji Abdul Salam as the Congress candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Manipur.

The organisations will hold a public meeting on February 5 to chalk out the modalities of further action in connection with the boycott of Modi visit.

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