BJP hires 10 trains for Narendra Modi's rally

Patna, Oct 10 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hired 10 trains to ferry its supporters here for the Oct 27 rally of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, a senior leader said Thursday.

Since last month, BJP leaders have been busy touring different parts of state to mobilise supporters for the rally. Several buses have also been hired for the rally.

"The party has booked 10 special trains, with 18 bogies each, for the rally," senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav said, adding that the trains will run from different parts of the state to Patna.

The special trains will run from Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria, Bhagalpur, Saharsa, Bettiah, Bagha and Samastipur, among other cities.

Yadav, the leader of opposition in the state assembly, said the BJP's district units will also ferry people by buses.

"We are planning to hire buses from Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, as there are not enough buses available in the state," he said.

Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi claimed that the number of peoplea attending the rally would break all previous records.

"If lakhs of people can turn up to hear Narendra Modi in Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad and Rewari (in Haryana), where the party has few legislators, one can only imagine the biggest ever turnout in Patna," Sushil Modi said, adding that Narendra Modi's presence would be a big draw.

After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar broke the Janata Dal-United alliance with the BJP in June over the projection of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the saffron party's prime ministerial candidate, the Oct 27 rally will be the first show of strength by the BJP in Bihar.

An East Central Railway (ECR) official said an action plan was drawn up by the railways to run special trains Oct 26-27. "We have made elaborate arrangements for smooth running of passenger trains as well as long-distance trains," he said.

The ECR has borrowed coaches from different zones because of shortage of coaches in view of several Puja special trains running throughout the country.

Several senior railway officials have been deputed to supervise the arrangement of special trains for the rally. Hundreds of railway officials, including travelling ticket examiners (TTEs), station masters and traffic inspectors, would be deployed to manage the smooth running of these specials.

In Bihar, political parties have in the past too hired trains for rallies.

Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) hired 13 special trains from various parts of Bihar and Jharkhand to ferry supporters to a rally in May this year.

When Lalu Prasad was railway minister in 2007, the RJD booked 35 trains for his Chetawani (warning) Rally in Patna.

Last year, Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United hired half a dozen special trains for Nitish Kumar's Adhikar (rights) Rally in Patna.

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