Kolkata (The Hawk): A saffron wave across the streets of Kolkata could be seen on a balmy morning on Sunday.
The event, Run for Modi started from the Netaji statue in Syambazar crossing to Swami Vivekananda's ancestral house on Vivekananda Road in north Kolkata, was a run to drum up support for NaMo.
Though the TMC has just launched their new slogan which translates to "Bengal wants its own daughter" on Saturday, for the saffron camp PM Modi still is the face of their campaign. The TMC has always been harping on the 'outsider' vs 'insider' factor for the polls. They have termed most of the BJP leaders as outsiders, who have little idea of Bengal. But, as has been the party's campaign strategy, BJP has always canvassed for votes in the name of Narendra Modi, who enjoys immense popularity across the country.
In Bengal too before the assembly polls, Narendra Modi is the face of the campaign. It can be mentioned here that chief minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier stated at a rally that people should vote for her party thinking she is the candidate in all the 294 seats.
The runners on Sunday, mostly the youth, were seen sporting saffron tees and carrying placards showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their inspiration. Amid the strong police presence the participants ran the distance in the balmy winter morning. High on 'josh' and strength to run more to spread the message of Modi, across the city, the organisers and runners were also seen shouting slogans like 'har har Modi and Modi Modi bolche.
One of the main forces behind the run, Sourav Kumar Mishra, Team NaMo coordinator, who was also one of the runners, said, "We did not face any trouble during the run as there was a huge cop presence. The rally was not a political rally and was not part of the BJP rally. People who believe in Modi ji were part of the run. These participants are all office goers or have their own business. This is a positive influence for us as when a common man of India spreads the message, it makes a greater impact. The participants also shared their event pictures on the social media just as they do for any other event in their life. For them it is also a celebration."
The Team NaMo also plans to carry forward such events in future all across the city, which also gives the message of fitness and health. "We plan to do more such runs in the coming days with increasing regularity. We have to make sure that the whole of Kolkata is with Modi. Modi ji is also part of the Fit India movement and himself is very fit. With this run we wanted to bring in the youth forward," said Mishra.
It is worth a mention that volunteers chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' and wearing NaMo print t-shirts were stopped earlier in the month by the cops from entering at Eco Park in North 24-paragnas. Later, though, the group of volunteers was allowed to enter after they stopped chanting the slogan.
BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajendra Pal Singh Bagga said that the people of Kolkata gathered in large numbers much ahead of the allotted time at Shyambazar crossing in north Kolkata and also that ignoring the call of the ruling Trinamool Congress, all chanted 'Jai Shri Ram'. "From Shyambazar till the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda, people gathered in large numbers despite being Sunday. We just promoted our 'Run for Modi' campaign on social media. Looking at the vibes of the people we can say that the BJP will mark victory in more than 200 seats. The TMC says that BJP cannot do anything in Kolkata, but the people's chant for Jai Shri Ram will soon prove TMC wrong," mentioned Bagga, taking part in the campaign in Kolkata. Bagga also stated that AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi is a part of TMC, who will contest the upcoming assembly polls just to cut BJP vote bank," said Bagga. Owaisi is scheduled to start his poll campaign in Metiabruz area on February 25.