Hyderabad, July 16 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday defended its decision to collect Rs.5 from each person attending the Aug 11 public meeting here to be addressed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying the money would be used for relief work in Uttarakhand.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said the money was being collected towards relief work in the flood-hit state.
He told reporters that it is only a voluntary contribution aimed at promoting sense of participation. Naidu also clarified that Rs.5 will be collected only from those who can afford to pay.
The BJP leader dismissed criticism by Congress saying the ruling party was making allegations as it was unable to digest the growing popularity of Modi.
"Congress is rattled by Narendra Modi. They are not able to digest the growing popularity of Narendra Modi. That's why they are making such allegationst," he said.
"Congress show itself is a flop show. Congress has been running a flop show in this country for the last 50 years," Naidu said while responding to the Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari's remarks.
Hitting at the BJP for charging Rs.5 per person attending the public meeting, Tewari said it showed the "true value" of Modi.
"Baba Pravachan Ticket Rs.100-100,000. Cinema ticket Rs.200-500 even for box-office flop. Ticket to hear a CM Rs.5. Market discovers true value," Tewari said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
BJP's Andhra Pradesh unit president G. Kishan Reddy clarified that party has not printed any tickets for the public meeting. He said the token amount was being collected towards registration from those who can afford to pay. "This is not compulsory to attend the public meeting," he said.
BJP leaders expect more than a lakh people for the public meeting to be held at Lal Bahadur Stadium.
This will be the first public meeting of Modi in south India after he was named chairman of BJP's campaign committee for 2014 elections.