Hyderabad: BJP's Andhra Pradesh unit has decided to cash in on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's popularity, literally. In a first, the party's state unit is collecting a registration fee of Rs 5 per person to attend a public meeting to be addressed by its election campaign committee chief in Hyderabad on August 11.
"Other parties ferry people for their public meetings. The idea of collecting the nominal amount is to encourage seriousness and commitment. We will contribute the collected amount towards Uttarakhand relief," state BJP spokesman N Ramachandra Rao told PTI.
And, keeping in mind Modi's following in the virtual world, the registration can be done online. The registration process began recently and will continue till August 10. The Lal Bahadur Stadium in central Hyderabad is the venue for the meeting and the target is to mobilise one lakh people in the age group of 18-40, Rao said.
BJP aims to reach out to the large crowd of IT professionals and college students in the tech-savvy Andhra Pradesh capital, he said.
About 40,000 people have already registered and the party hopes that it will go up to at least 70,000, Rao said. Modi's rally was originally scheduled for July 27 but was postponed to August 11 in view of the Gram Panchayat elections.
The BJP poster boy's rally in Hyderabad would be the first for him in south India after being made the chief party's election campaign committee.
BJP, which has four members in the Legislative Assembly, is making a determined bid to increase its strength in the state in the 2014 general and assembly elections. The party is focusing on Telangana region and has aggressively taken up the cause of separate statehood.