Modi will reach the port city by a special aircraft at 1.15 p.m., Andhra Pradesh…
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Gaya in poll-bound Bihar on Sunday where he will address a rally.
The PM is scheduled to address the Parivartan Rally (rally for change)in the holy city but his visit to the Mahabodhi temple complex has been called off.
Meanwhile, Maoists in the state’s Magadh zone extended their 72-hour bandh call on Saturday by another 24 hours to mark a black day to protest Modi’s rally. They have threatened people to shut down shops.
Bihar DGP P K Thakur said, a high alert has been issued and a four-layered security is in place with CoBRA battalions of the CRPF and district police forces in Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Gaya and Nawada scouring the peripheral and interior areas to block Maoist movement.
Regional spokesman for the Maoists Magadh zone, identifying himself as Manas, said, the organisation would enforce the bandh.
In preparation for Modi’s rally, intensive checking of incoming and outgoing vehicles is being conducted at various checkpoints.
The Gaya DM said on Saturday that over 2,000 police constables and 1,000 magistrates and police officers have been deployed especially on rally duty. The security arrangements are apart from the inner circle security provided by Special Protection Group to the Prime Minister. Traffic plan of the city has been strengthened.
A poster war erupted on Saturday between ruling Janta Dal, JD(U) and opposition BJP in Gaya ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit.
District administration officials said BJP workers claimed that posters and hoardings put up for Modi’s rally were torn and replaced with banners projecting Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and carrying slogan ‘We won’t be deceived and will ensure victory for Nitish’.
The JD(U) workers were quick to rebut the allegations and claimed that BJP workers had pulled down their posters and replaced them with posters of the Prime Minister.
Modi is expected to arrive shortly after noon to address the rally and fly out of the city after it ends. This is his second visit to Bihar after becoming PM.
In his first visit on July 25, the PM had shared the dais with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in Patna and addressed a rally in Muzaffarpur. In Patna, he had vowed to fulfill his promise of an economic package for Bihar and launched some projects.
It was, however, a comment that he made during the rally in Muzaffarpur which created a controversy and sparked a war of words in political circles.
Read | Something wrong in Nitish’s political DNA: Modi at Muzaffarpur rally
The PM said there is something wrong with (Nitish) Kumar’s “political DNA” that led the Janata Dal-United leader to ditch friends who worked with him.
“I was hurt when he withdrew his support. But when he did the same thing to a Mahadalit such as Jitan Manjhi, then I figured out there is something wrong in his political DNA,” Modi said, referring to the JD-U’s split with the BJP in 2013.
Responding to Modi’s remark, in an interview with HT, Nitish Kumr said the PM’s jibe was “indecent” and an insult to Bihar and its people.
Later, he also wrote an open letter to the PM and “urged” the latter to take back his “political DNA” comment to assuage the ‘hurt’ sentiments of the people of Bihar.
The Bharatiya Janata Party hit back at JD(U) leader for equating his “supreme arrogance with the identity of Bihar”.
(With inputs from agencies)