PM’s Rally-Sidelights

Jammu, Feb 20: *Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept the tradition of starting his speech in Jammu in Dogri. In today’s huge rally at MA Stadium, he started his 35-minute speech in Dogri in which he also quoted prominent late Dogri writer Padma Sachdev.
****“जम्मू-कश्मीर के मेरे प्रिय भैनों ते भ्राओ, जै हिंद, इक बारी परतियै इस डुग्गर भूमि पर आइयै मिगी बड़ा शैल लग्गा करदा ऐ। डोगरे बड़े मिलन सार ने, ए जिन्ने मिलनसार ने उन्नी गै मिट्ठी…इंदी भाशा ऐ। तां गै ते…डुग्गर दी कवित्री, पद्मा सचदेव ने आक्खे दा ऐ- मिठड़ी ऐ डोगरेयां दी बोली ते खंड मिठे लोग डोगरे
“(My dear sisters and brothers of Jammu and Kashmir, Jai Hind, once again feel very good in this Duggar land. The Dogra people are very friendly, and their language is so sweet. So that’s it… The poet of Duggar, Padma Sachdev, has said – Sweet is the language of Dogras, and the people are much Sweeter),” the Prime Minister said drawing huge applause from the crowd which cheered PM Modi with slogans like “Modi Ji Ko Jai Shri Ram”, “Ek Baar Fir Modi Sarkar”, and “Modi Hai To Mumkin Hai”.
*At the end of the rally, the Prime Minister asked crowd to take out their mobile telephones and switch on the flash light to celebrate the festival of development in Jammu and Kashmir. The crowd responded enthusiastically.
*Modi noticed a man carrying a child on his shoulder in the crowd seeking attention. He briefly paused his speech and appealed to the man not to expose his baby girl to the cold weather. “Don’t trouble that girl, brother. She is a very small doll. If she were here (on the stage), then I would have blessed her a lot, but don’t trouble that girl in this cold weather,” he stressed.
* People braved huge downpours and chilly weather conditions to reach MA Stadium to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Though some of the rallyists were BJP leaders and workers, a large number of people had come on their own to have a glimpse of Modi.
*Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha presented Modi a Basohli painting, shawl and photograph of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji. During his interaction with Ujjwala Scheme beneficiary, Veena Parihar of Atholi in Kishtwar district, Modi prayed for blessings of Maa Vaishno Devi Ji not only on her but entire Jammu and Kashmir.
*Significantly, both Paharis as well as Gujjars and Bakerwals had turned up for the PM’s rally in large numbers. Modi referred to personal bonds he shared with Gujjars and Bakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir saying he stayed with them even 40 years back when he used to visit the erstwhile State. Paharis were recently granted ST status along with other tribes while Gujjars and Bakerwals already enjoyed this.
*A Gujjar Lal Mohammad from Poonch district with whom Modi interacted was all praise for the Prime Minister saying he has constructed pucca house under PM Awas Yojana. He said people in his village keep chanting `Modi Modi’.
*While interacting with Shaheena Begum of Banakoot in Bandipora district, Modi said he salutes her parents who made her study Post Graduation.
*Reyaz Ahmed Kohli, another Gujjar from Pulwama said it was because of abrogation of Article 370 that they got Forest Rights in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the tribal community is extremely grateful to the Prime Minister as well as Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
*People had started reaching MA Stadium as early as 8 AM to take front seats though the Prime Minister was scheduled to arrive at the rally venue at 11.30 AM.
*All roads leading to MA Stadium were thronged with eager supporters, their voices echoing with chants of ‘Modi-Modi. The atmosphere was electric, with anticipation running high among the diverse crowd gathered from various parts of the Jammu division. The turnout was so overwhelming that the stadium quickly reached its maximum capacity.
*Authorities, in response to the situation, swiftly directed the overflow of attendees to alternative viewing areas at the campuses of Jammu University and Gulshan Ground. Large LED screens were installed at strategic locations in the University campus and Gulshan Ground, allowing those unable to secure seats in the stadium to watch the proceedings live.
*From distant districts to nearby towns, individuals from all walks of life converged at the venue, eager to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister and hear him speak. As PM Modi took to the stage amidst thunderous applause, the crowd erupted with cheers, eagerly hanging on to his every word.
*This was second rally of Narendra Modi in Jammu after abrogation of Article 370. He had addressed a massive rally at Palli in Samba district on April 24, 2022. Modi as a BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister had addressed a rally at the same venue in December 2013 and wondered why there are no IITs, IIMs etc in Jammu and Kashmir. Nearly 10 years later, these Institutions are functional in Jammu which were opened by the Government led by him.
* The rally also signals the launch of BJP’s campaign for Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir scheduled to be held in April-May.