The attendance in Modi’s Bhavnagar rally was much higher than expected.

BJP Misjudges Crowd at Modi’s Bhavnagar Rally, Books Small Ground

The last few rallies held by the BJP where Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke had a lacklustre response from the crowd especially in Jasdan last week and Jambusar on Sunday.

In anticipation of a smaller crowd, the BJP organisers held the rally at Bhavnagar on Monday in a small ground although much larger grounds were available. However, villagers crammed in trucks and tractors were ushered in and the ground filled up in no time.

Thousands waited outside the grounds. One of the local policemen stationed at the rally told this reporter,  "They (BJP workers) had placed a few chairs at first but as the crowd turned up they added more. The BJP was not expecting such a crowd response. The ground was small, at least 8 to 10,000 people attended."

The crowd was in full support, cheering every barb Modi sent in the direction of Rahul Gandhi and the Congress. However, the crowd started moving out in hordes around 30 minutes before Modi concluded his speech.

Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of following the ‘divide and rule’ policy while addressing a public meeting in Bhavnagar.

Modi, who has been holding back-to-back public meetings in Gujarat as a part of a two-day tour, said that the Congress has been dividing the people on the basis of castes and communities.

I fail to understand why the Congress once again is doing what it always did in the past – divide people, be it on caste lines, communal lines, between villages and cities. Congress has learnt ‘divide and rule’ from our colonial rulers rather well.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Also read: PM Modi Addresses Rally in Bharuch, Calls Opposition ‘Thieves’

Referring to the recent civic polls in Uttar Pradesh where the BJP won 14 of the 16 mayoral posts, Modi said:

The people of UP know the Congress and their leadership well. And see how they have rejected Congress repeatedly.
(Photo: Rahul Nair/<b>The Quint</b>)
The attendance in Modi’s Bhavnagar rally was much higher than expected.

He also took a dig at Congress leader Kapil Sibal and said that this “able lawyer” is “always handling all the indefensible and wrong matters.”

I appeal to the Congress to stick to the truth. The people of Gujarat do not like poll time lollipops and false promises of the Congress.

Boasting of the BJP governance in Gujarat, Modi said, “Gujarat has grown due to the power of Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana.”

Modi was late for the rally by more than two hours. He was delayed at Surat where he attended Morari Bapu's Ram Katha, after which he proceeded to Valsad for the Dharampur rally.

Also read: As Guj Gears up for Polls, War of Words Between Manmohan, Jaitley