In a matter of 30 days, there has been a string of rallies held by Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. The differences between the rallies stand out. If one man’s venue is flooded with people, the other can accommodate only a few thousands.
On September 29, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi held a massive rally at the Japanese Park in West Delhi. On Sunday, even as Modi was holding forth at Gandhi Maidan in Patna with his “hunkar rally”, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressed his first election rally for the forthcoming Delhi assembly elections.
At Narendra Modi’s rally, the composition of crowd included rickshaw pullers to IT professionals carrying smartphones and other hi-tech gadgets. At Rahul’s rally, which was held in Mangolpuri, an area populated with people from the low income group, there were hardly any smartphone users, forget other high tech gadgets.
Even crowd response at both the rallies were completely opposite to each other.
During Modi’s rally, the crowd did not let any other leader speak. At Rahul’s rally, the crowd started moving out of the ground as soon as he started his speech, not waiting for him to deliver his punchline.
Modi spoke for around one hour. And he went on attack mode from the word go. He slammed the UPA, the Delhi government and trained guns on not only the prime minister but also allies of the Union government.
On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi spoke for 20 minutes, settled with lauding the Sheila Dikshit government, and the flagship programmes of the UPA government. It could be argued that Rahul was making a pitch for the Delhi elections, not for the general elections, which is still months away. But Rahul’s rallies in general, whether held in Udaipur or elsewhere, have been dwarfed by those addressed by Modi.
In terms of the number of people attending too, both their rallies have seen a different count.
While Modi’s rallies were truly “mega”, seeing upwards of two lakhs in attendance, only around 10,000 came to listen to Rahul speak on Sunday But fact is both the parties chose their venues “strategically”.
To show its strength, the BJP organises rallies at venues which have the capacity to accommodate huge numbers. Whereas, the Congress picks up venues such as the park in Mangolpuri, which could accommodate only around 20,000.
Then again, Modi’s Japanese Park’s rally saw people turned “spontaneously”. Even the Delhi Metro recorded an increase in ridership at the nearest metro station to the venue. At the Congress rally in Mangolpuri, the majority of crowd was from nearby localities.
Vijender Gupta, convener of Modi’s rally organising committee, said the Congress was trying to protect its vice-president from humiliation.