Is Unnao treasure hunt a 'ploy' to derail Narendra Modi's Mission UP?

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BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is set to begin the most crucial phase of his campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls on October 19, when he will address a rally in Kanpur in the key state of Uttar Pradesh.

But on the eve of the hyped rally, a strange thing happened. A massive hunt for thousand tons of underground gold has started at Unnao, not far from Kanpur, after a seer dreamed about the huge treasure reserve beneath an old fort.

A government was moved just by a seer's dream to undertake a massive treasure hunt? Or was it a politically motivated move to divert attention from Modi's mega rally in the nearby city of Kanpur?

One would not be surprised if the latter holds true.

The Congress is clearly struggling to match the rallies that Modi has been addressing over the past few months, both in terms of size and enthusiasm. The twin rallies that its leader Rahul Gandhi addressed in Uttar Pradesh recently failed to inspire while two other rallies were cancelled. The ruling Samajwadi Party has also been at the receiving end in the wake of the Muzzafaranagar riots and will be worried over the entry of yet another political major player in Uttar Pradesh.

Could the gold hunt be a ploy to stop Modi's march in the UP? Or otherwise, it is very difficult to fathom how a government can indulge in a humongous exercise just on the basis of somebody's unconfirmed dream?

A lot of sides are rallying around Modi to gain some mileage in UP

Modi himself perhaps also understood the 'motive' behind the bizarre act and took a dig at the Centre over the gold-digging exercise while speaking in Chennai. He mocked by saying that the black money stashed in Swiss accounts could fetch a much bigger value than running after somebody's dream.

The BJP also engaged in a counter-campaigning to neutralise the ‘threat' that the gold-digging exercise has posed to Modi's rally. It projected Modi as the real gold and appealed to people to hear, understand and choose him.

A lot of sides are trying to cash in on the hype created around Modi's rally. The saffron camp also tried to capitalise on the October 19 rally by calling the Sankalp Rally a day before to push for a parliamentary legislation on building the Ram temple in Ayodhya and the Samajwadi Party government repeated its August action by cracking down on the agitators. Most political forces are in some way rallying around Modi to gain some mileage ahead of the prestigious battle of 2014.

It will be interesting to see what the leader says at the rally. He has a lot of issues to choose from but what will he actually prefer, that's the key question.

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