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Bells & whistles for Shah

DECKED UP: Bells hang from a welcome gate at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna: The Bihar BJP has pulled out all stops to welcome party national president Amit Shah on Thursday.

The city has been decorated on an unprecedented scale for Shah's one-day visit, his first to Bihar since chief minister Nitish Kumar's antaraatma (inner voice) told him to re-embrace the saffron party. Huge hoardings, banners and posters with photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and state and central BJP leaders have flooded the city. All city squares have been decorated with lights and party flags have sprung up everywhere.

As Shah is to hold meetings with party workers and leaders at Samrat Ashoka Convention Hall and the BJP office, the roads leading to the two venues from the airport have been decorated with gusto.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday reviewed the preparations for Shah's visit.

Amit Shah

A total of 10 tooran dwars (big gates) have been erected to welcome Shah.

"The ten gates which have been erected on the roads leading to venues depict the rich culture and history of the state," said Pankaj Singh, media in-charge of the Bihar BJP.

"All the gates have been named after schemes of the central government which were launched during the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some of gates are Jan Dhan Dwar, Ujjwala Dwar, Harit Kranti Dwar, Naari Shakti Dwar. On all such gates a brief account of the schemes has been given."

At five places on Shah's route, members of the BJP's culture wing will perform cultural programmes on folk songs. The party workers will also shower flower petals on Shah from these five places.

At Samrat Ashoka Convention Hall, the main venue of Shah's meetings, a huge gate made of bamboo has been set up.

More than 2,000 temple bells have been installed on the gate and it has been decorated with vermilion.

"In our culture it is auspicious to welcome with temple bells, vermilion and mouli (sacred thread) so we have decorated the entrance gates with these items," said BJP leader Amrita Bhushan Rathod.

The BJP party office too has been decorated.

Six youths, including two Muslims, have given the BJP office a new look with Madhubani art on the walls.

The paintings have been themed on topics that the BJP would like to present before voters in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Shoeb Alam, one of the artists who is an alumnus of the College of Arts and Crafts, said: "We have prepared 35 Madhubani artwork which depict some of the flagship schemes of the Modi government such as Jan Dhan, Mudra, Ujjwala, Make in India, Digital India, and Krishi Bima Yojana, among others."

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