PM Modi’s Rally In Srinagar Today, First Since Scrapping Of Article 370

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PM Modi's Rally In Srinagar Today, First Since Scrapping Of Article 370

Srinagar:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Srinagar today is expected to be the biggest political rally in Kashmir since the scrapping of Article 370 five years ago. Thus would be his first rally in Kashmir since 2019. The arrangements indicate that the authorities are expecting such a huge crowd that Bakshi stadium, the venue, may not be large enough.

The preparations involve the biggest security exercise in recent times. Thousands of police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed across Srinagar. The areas around Bakshi stadium have turned into security fortress.

Sources said more than 1,100 buses have been pressed into service to transport people to the stadium. Around 100 buses have been requisitioned from a leading school in Srinagar.

The rally has a role in the BJP’s larger narrative ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The party has already made scrapping of Article 370 central to its election agenda by setting a target of 370 Lok Sabha seats.

The BJP claims two lakh people will be attending and the massive participation will be an endorsement of PM Modi’s development agenda and scrapping of Article 370.

“There is development, industrial growth. People are getting jobs. Ccorruption has ended in Kashmir. People of Jammu and Kashmir will be coming to listen to PM Modi for breaking the shackles of Article 370. Two lakh people will attend the rally,” said Tarun Chug, national general secretary of BJP.

People from different districts from Jammu region and far off places in the Valley have already reached Srinagar. Massive arrangements have been made for their accommodation and food.

Antecedents of all participants have been verified by security agencies. Even journalists covering the rally had to undergo scrutiny and passes were issued only after security verifications.

Traffic advisory has been issued as several roads in Srinagar were closed for normal traffic. Many schools have been closed ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit. Kashmir University has postponed all the exams scheduled for March 7

Though Bakshi stadium has an official seating capacity of 20,000, more people can be accommodated on the ground.

Thousands of government employees have been asked to attend and arrangements have been made to get them to the venue. A large number of self-help groups have also been roped in to join the mega event.

Big screens are being installed in various districts to live stream the event.

PM Modi is expected to announce several projects related to tourism and agriculture. He would also inaugurate an integrated development project for Kashmir’s revered Hazratbal Shrine.

This is PM Modi’s second visit to Jammu and Kashmir in less than three weeks. On February 20, the Prime Minister addressed a rally in Jammu.

PM Modi’s rally is seen as an attempt by the BJP to gain foothold in Kashmir Valley, where it has never won a seat for assembly or parliament.

The party is hoping that inclusion of the pahari community in the Scheduled Tribe list may help them to strengthen foothold in the Valley and Muslim-dominated regions of Jammu. Several pahari leaders have already joined the BJP.

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