Modi’s Punjab rally postponed due to ‘bad weather’

All arrangements for the BJP's Fateh Rally at Jagraon in Punjab, which was to be addressed by the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on December 21, were halted on Tuesday after the rally was postponed, reportedly on account of cold and bad weather.

The party had already spent lakhs on arrangements, which included construction of pucca stages, payment to the tent house, to the workers who had been hired for cleaning the venue, and to farmers of eight villages who had given their 200 acres land for parking of vehicles and six helipads. On Monday, the farmers were paid Rs 30,000 per acre.

The rally was to be organised over 5 lakh square feet area, which included 98 acres land of Jagraon sugar mill and the land taken on contract from farmers.

When the work was stopped, a 14-foot-high pucca stage was being constructed from where Modi and other VVIPs were to address the rally. Besides, three more stages were being constructed beside the main stage for other VIPs. More than Rs 1.5 lakh was being spent on construction of the stages alone.

Arrangement of about 3 lakh chairs had also been done in 32 blocks at the rally venue by Amritsar-based Sethi Tent House, who had been hired by the party.

S R Kler, SAD MLA from Jagraon, said, "Bad weather in the coming days has been given as the reason for postponement of the rally and all works have been stopped. The party high command will decide about the advance payments given.''

More than 200 MNREGA workers from various villages were cleaning the area since November 28. Block Development Officer Inderjeet Singh clarified that MNREGA workers had been hired by the party, and the payment will not be made from NREGA funds. The workers have not been given any payment till now.

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