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Sonia Gandhi, Narendra Modi rallies: Political Parties brace for crowd-pulling test in Mumbai

Sunday, 20 April 2014 - 9:15am IST | Agency: dna

With the city seeing the last phase of campaigning for the April 24 elections, the Congress and BJP leaders are sweating it out for a big battle in terms of show of strength.

While, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to address a rally on Sunday at the Bandra Kurla Complex ground, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will hold a public meet at the same venue a day later.

This has prompted both parties to pull all stops to make the events a big success, with the Shiv Sena-BJP combine claiming that Modi's rally will easily surpass that of Sonia's and create a record of sort.

The Mumbai Regional Congress Committee is hoping that the rally, which will be addressed by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Prof Jogendra Kawade, president of the People's Republican Party, will give its campaign a much-needed boost. The party is battling a huge anti-incumbency wave.

MRCC chief Janardhan Chandurkar said they are expecting over two lakh people to attend the rally. "It will have a direct impact on voters. After this rally, the fence sitters will also join the Congress. We are sure this rally will help us to get all the six candidates from the city re-elected."
He said that through this rally the Congress wants to send a clear message, particularly to the Muslims and Dalits, that the party is with them. "We will not allow anyone to divide the country on religious lines," said Chandurkar.

The Congress leader said that this time they have not put pressure over the Lok Sabha candidates to bring the party workers at the rally venue. "The people in fray can continue with their scheduled programmes. The responsibility has been given to our 17 MLAs, 56 corporators and various cells presidents."

Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai on Saturday said Modi's rallies have seen huge turnouts across the country and they are confident that his rally on Monday too will easily surpass the Congress event in terms of attendees.

Desai said right from RPI leader Ramdas Athavale to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti and Rashtriya Samaj Paksh leader Mahadeo Jankar will be present in the rally.

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