The Telegraph
Sunday , February 9 , 2014
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Anti-graft hope at Modi rally
- Books on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate sell like hot cakes

Guwahati, Feb. 8: A few Congress flags, put up by the party’s youth wing in between BJP flags, could be seen competing with its rivals outside Narendra Modi’s rally venue here today.

It might be a flag fight for the two parties, but the commoner who attended today’s rally looked up to the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for a corruption-free development.

“Common people like us are fed up with corruption. We need a leader who can act against corruption and implement welfare schemes. Modi is talking about a corruption-free system and so I came here to hear him,” said Bidyadhar Konwar, a farmer, who travelled more than 350km from Naharkatia in Dibrugarh district to attend the rally here.

Shopkeeper Nakul Seal of Kharupetia under Mangaldoi Lok Sabha constituency had boarded an early morning bus to reach Modi’s rally. “A party ruling the country should change every five years. We are facing corruption as the Congress is ruling the country for the last 10 years and we need a change,” he said.

His neighbour Haser Ali, a farmer, said he had come here because of the buzz going around about Modi.

“Usually, I do not attend political rallies. But today I came here as many are talking about Modi becoming our next Prime Minister.” Ali said.

The crowd started making its way to the College of Veterinary Science playground here in Khanapara since 9am while many beat dhols (drums) and shouted slogans in support of Modi.

Around 100 BJP supporters came on bicycles and motorcycles from Nalbari, about 100km away. A makeshift stall put up close to the rally ground sold books (in Assamese) on Modi written by Hemanta Kumar Bharali. “Today we sold 1,600 copies here. We have sold more than 5,000 copies since the book was published in December,” a stall owner, Nitul Neog, said.

Among those who bought the book was a 40-year-old astrologer Ghana Kanta Sarma. Sarma predicted that the BJP would win nine of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam and Modi will be the country’s new Prime Minister.

“Political leaders always make promises and forget after winning elections but we hope that Modi will be different,” Sarma said.

Prabhat Das, who recently switched allegiance from the AGP to the BJP, hoped Modi’s rally here would help the BJP to counter the Congress which is ruling the state for the third consecutive term and had won seven Lok Sabha seats in the last general elections.