It’s a novel political brew in Patna. In the run up to Narendra Modi’s rally in Patna on October 27, the state unit of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has rolled up its sleeves to break the myth that Narendra Modi is just an urban and social media phenomenon.
In a two-pronged move the party is setting up NaMo tea stalls and rechrishtening existing tea stalls with NaMo brand to connect to people and also remind the electorate of the humble background of its prime ministerial candidate.
Sources say almost four hundred such tea stalls will be opened or exiting ones will be rebranded, in an exercise that aims principally at creating a buzz. According to senior party leaders, there will be a huge turnout of expectators at the upcoming rally in Bihar and every single panchayat in Bihar will have a representation at the rally.
Bihar BJP leaders Sushil Modi told dna, “This is a symbolic move. Since a tea seller’s son is going to become the next prime minister of the country, this is both a way to hail his glorious life journey, remind people that he is one of them, and also to connect to the people.”
Modi rejects the claims that the NaMo phenomenon is essentially an urban or a social media creation. “There is no such case both in Bihar and I can say nationwide also. It is real,” he said.
“As far as Bihar is concerned, the urban area is only 11.33%. Remaining 85% is everything else.
We have visited hundreds of villages and can see the change coming. Also, upper caste vote is only 15% in Bihar. Out of the total number of MLAs in the assembly 70% are from backward classes. There are 8,500 panchayats in Bihar and we will have representation from each one of them in the rally. So it is a misnomer that Narendra Modi is an urban phenomenon. They are free to do so, but reality is somewhere else,” he added.
Political commentator Urmilesh believes that since Narendra Modi as a corporate poster boy will not work in Bihar, he is being touted as an OBC leader in the state. “When there is not much excitement among the people, a political party creates a craft and strategises to capitalise on that.
Wherever BJP is strong, Modi will become a natural hero. Bihar BJP is in that stage,” added Urmilesh.
Sushil Modi, meanwhile, ducked the query on the number of people turning up for the rally, saying the party does not project such figures. In Modi’s New Delhi rally on September 29, out of expected footfall of 5 lakh persons, about 2.5 lakh people came to listen to him. The campaign in Patna is using online platforms, SMSs and voice SMSs.