Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharat Janata Party (BJP) election campaign Chief Narendra Modi is set to address his supporters from the 'Lal Qila' on Saturday. He will climb the ramparts of the 'Red Fort' replica at Ambikapur in Surguja district of Chhattisgarh and address the gathering like a Prime Minister of the country does on Independence Day.
"Tomorrow, I shall join the concluding rally of Dr. Raman Singh's 'Vikas Yatra' in Chhattisgarh. Shri Rajnath Singh will also be there. I am looking forward to being among the well-wishers there," Modi posted on a social networking site.
"Modi is an extraordinary leader who has shown how good governance and development can be achieved and we all look up to him. With progressive vision and inclusive agenda, he can further contribute to nation building," Raman told PTI on Friday.
The Gujarat Chief Minister had already attended the Vikas Yatra on 18 May at Rajnandgaon. The growing bond between the two Chief Ministers is evident as Modi is the only second senior BJP leader to address the state-wide yatra twice.
Despite the fact that Modi claimed of not dreaming to become the Prime Minister of India, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh made special efforts for Modi at the closing ceremony of Vikas Yatra. Raman Singh government has spent Rs 2.5 crore over the 'lal qila' arrangements, Congress leader Jagdambika Pal told ANI. The Gujarat CM will get a feel of the famous 'Red Fort' address at Ambikapur, about 320km from Raipur.
It is the second time that Modi will be openly challenging the current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On 15 August, he had attacked the PM after his address at the Red Fort and dared him for a duel in debate.
"Come let us have a competition on development between Gujarat and Delhi. Our shortcomings will come forward and so will your good deeds," Modi had said at a college in the Kutch desert.
Senior BJP leaders at Ambikapur feel that addressing the gathering from a replica of the Lal Qila is not bold enough as Modi had already dared the PM on Independence Day.
It is likely that Modi might take a shot on the issues he had discussed on Independence day or the issues he took up on 18 May in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh.
Development: Modi has always said that development is one of the two prime ways to take the country ahead. On 18 May, he had propagated how BJP leaders 'comprehensively reject vote-bank politics and embrace politics of development'. He had lauded the Raman Singh government over development in Chhatisgarh.
Border Incursions: After the big episode of Pakistan troops killing two Indian soldiers in August, Modi has attacked the central government several times in his public speeches over leniency at LoC.
Moreover, it was due to the incessant demands by the BJP that Defence Minister AK Antony made a statement in both the houses of the Parliament on Friday.
"I would like to assure the House that there is no question of India ceding to China any part of Indian Territory," Antony stated on Friday and assured that necessary steps are being taken by the government to safeguard India's border. But the defence minister also admitted that Chinese troops often cross the border.
Hence, Modi is likely to take a jab at Antony over his statement on Chinese incursions.
Telangana & New States: Chhattisgarh is one of the three states formed by the NDA government in 2001. And the protests over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh are the best example Modi will use to target the Congress.
"We have seen what all happened while creating new states. But, due to Vajpayee ji Chhattisgarh was born without any bloodshed," he had said at the 18 May speech in Chhattisgarh.
Coalgate files: The issue of missing coal files was regularly tabled by Modi's party at the Parliament. The BJP often stalwarted both the Houses over the coalgate scam. It was due to BJP's insistence that PM Manmohan Singh made a statement over the missing files. Modi is likely to take a swipe at the Congress party for the missing key files in the coal allocation scam.
Elaborate arrangements await the Gujarat CM at the PG College ground in Ambikapur with the seating capacity of over 1.25 lakh people. The Red Fort replica was constructed in no less than 10 days, as per a report in India Today. The function will begin at around 3 pm.