PM Narendra Modi's rally to mark BJP's pre-poll campaign in Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore: With the assembly elections a few months away in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will tomorrow address a public meeting here, being billed by the party as the launch of its poll campaign
pm narendra modi s rally to mark bjp s pre poll...
PTI February 01, 2016 18:36 IST

Coimbatore: With the assembly elections a few months away in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will tomorrow address a public meeting here, being billed by the party as the launch of its poll campaign and "a turning point rally" in the history of the state politics.

On a five-hour visit to the textile city in Western Tamil Nadu, which is among the 20 cities choosen for the Centre's Smart City Project, Modi would also launch an ESI Medical College here.

While the elections are yet to be announced and all parties, including the Dravidian majors ruling AIADMK and DMK, are in the preparatory mode, state BJP leaders have said Modi's rally would mark the launch of its campaign.

BJP, which led a rainbow seven-party alliance for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, is aiming to form a strong combine for the assembly polls, due in a few months.

As such, the public meeting being held at the sprawling CODISSIA grounds is also seen as a show of strength by the BJP to enhance its bargaining power during the seat-sharing exercise with possible NDA allies.

Incidentally, Modi had addressed a public meeting as part of the NDA's campaign at the same venue in 2014.

In the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP-led NDA also comprised DMDK, PMK, MDMK, IJK, New Justice Party and Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi, but the front managed to win only two of the 39 seats one by PMK and another by the Saffron party itself.

While MDMK led by Vaiko snapped its ties with NDA soon after the polls, PMK has been critical of various policies of the Modi Government and even announced its youth wing leader as its "Chief Ministerial candidate", indicating it would lead an alliance for the assembly polls.

Actor-politician Vijayakant's DMDK, which is being wooed by various parties, has kept everyone, including BJP, guessing.

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Though BJP has officially claimed it was not desperate for an alliance, party sources say it wanted the tie-up with DMDK to continue.

Seeking to make the Modi rally a grand show, BJP has been making arrangements to mobilise at least five lakh people from the region, including from nearby Erode, Nilgiris, Tirupur and Salem districts.
A galaxy of party leaders, including union ministers, have

been camping in the city for the past few days overseeing the arrangements for the rally, which they say would mark the launch of BJP's campaign for the polls.

Senior party leader from the state and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan had said last week that Modi's "pre-assembly poll campaign will have a lasting impact on entire Tamil Nadu which would reflect during the elections."

State BJP President Tamilisai Sounderarajan has claimed that BJP, after enrolling 50 lakh members in the state, had become strong and no party could form the government without its support.

She had said Modi's public rally would be a "turning point in the history of Tamil Nadu politics".

Multi-layer security arrangements have been made for the PM's visit with the deployment of more than 6,000 personnel, drawn from state police, Special Protection Group, Quick Reaction Team and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

The personnel with the help of sniffer dogs and bomb detection squad would carry out thorough checks every 15 minutes at the meeting venue and along the route to be taken by the Prime Minister, police said.

Meanwhile, some political parties, organisations and student unions have planned to organise a demonstration here tomorrow over the issue of the suicide of Rohit Vemula of University of Hdyerabad.

The protest was aimed against Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who is likely to accompany the Prime Minister, for the dedication of the ESI Medical College, police said.

An FIR has been filed against Dattatreya in connection with the suicide of the Dalit scholar.

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